TSA Pre-Check. Many people who travel on an even semi-regular basis say it’s the best money they’ve ever spent. For $85, you can skip a good portion of the regular TSA line every time you fly, for 5 years, and you don’t have to do a lot of the stuff “regular” people have to do, like take your shoes off, remove your belt and light jacket, etc.
However, bit by bit, technology is not only making us safer, but it’s also making it a little easier on “regular people.” For example, they’re investing in adding Computed Tomography (CT) technology to security checkpoints.
What is CT?
CT is the latest checkpoint X-ray scanning equipment to enhance threat detection capabilities for carry-on baggage. The technology is similar to CT technology used in the medical field and research shows that CT is the most consequential technology available today for airport checkpoints.
TSA’s current screening technology for carry-on bags uses 2-D images. The CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives and other threats by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees for a thorough analysis.
If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure there are no prohibited items inside.
CT allows better detection of threat items. It shows what’s in a carry-on bag much better than current technology in that it can automatically detect explosives, including those made of or from liquids.
With CT technology at the TSA checkpoint, that would mean not having to remove your laptop or liquids from your bag; the CT would be able to determine if they’re safe or not.
CT is already used for checked bags because of size, is only starting to be introduced at the TSA checkpoints for carry-on bags. To that point, the TSA recently announced an order for a total value of $198 million to Analogic Corporation for the procurement of mid-sized Computed Tomography (CT) x-ray systems for TSA checkpoints.
“This award is another important step in enhancing aviation security” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske, “It provides our dedicated frontline officers with one of the best tools available to screen passenger carry-on items and also improves the passenger experience by allowing passengers to keep more items in their carry-on bags during the screening process.”
How many CTs is that?
The TSA has been rolling out CT technology at its checkpoints over the past few years. In 2019, they reportedly purchased 300 new CT scanners at the cost of $96.8 million. No word on how much they cost nowadays, but that still gives a decent ballpark figure :-).
Anyway, having CTs at the checkpoint would mean spending less time taking things out of your bag and putting them back in when you’ve gotten through, which would mean getting through the checkpoint that much faster. Which wouldn’t stink one bit 😉
Feature Photo: TSA.gov
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary