New scanners tested in US airports to provide more convenience for passengers

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/7/23 18:12:03

A new state-of-the-art screening technology that is being tested in several US airports allows passengers to leave liquids and laptops in their carry-on luggage during security checks, media reported Sunday.

American Airlines and the US governmental agency Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have agreed to cooperate in demonstrating the new technology.

The TSA expects the new technology to begin operation at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport in late July. It will also be tested at airport security checkpoints in the US cities Phoenix and Boston.

"Use of CT (computed tomography) technology substantially improves TSA's threat detection capability at a checkpoint," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. "This partnership will allow us to deploy new technology quickly and see an immediate improvement in security effectiveness."

Different from the traditional 2-D X-ray scanning equipment, the new CT scanner is three dimensional, which has the potential to provide better visibility and allow the operator to rotate the bag's image 360 degrees to show the contents of carry-on items at every angle. That will enhance the ability to inspect explosives and other prohibited items in luggage.

Current policy requires passengers to put small quantities of liquids in a plastic bag. But with the improved detection capability of CT scanners, passengers won't have to take liquids and laptops out of their carry-on bags, which will speed up the security process.

The CT technology has been widely used by the healthcare industry, and is also used to scan checked bags in most airports, but is rarely deployed at passenger checkpoints due to size constraints. However, the latest scanning tools solve that problem.

But CT technology is far from perfect. "The main drawbacks to CT technology are cost and logistics," said Dr. Arjun Sharma, a radiologist at AMITA Hinsdale Hospital in Illinois.

"CT is a more advanced technology, but requires slightly different infrastructure and generally more energy consumption. It may also have increased shielding requirements, which may present problems in congested security screening environments," he added.

Earlier than American Airlines and TSA, Geneva Airport has been testing the new technology since July 1, the first airport in the world to do so. There are also some other airports that plan to adopt CT scanners, including London's Heathrow Airport, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, and Hong Kong Airport.

Posted in: AMERICAS

blog comments powered by Disqus