A 3D scanner which is capable of inspecting carry-on bags is being tested by security screeners with a view to improving the ability of detecting bombs. Flyers will consequently enjoy added convenience since lines at checkpoints will be shortened. According to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, the CT scanner is currently being tried out at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Already, the technology has been used to screen checked luggage though the big size and the cost of the scanners has prevented them from being used on carry-on bags. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration had been expecting to start using CT scanners on carry-on bags by the close of last year.
With CT scanners a 3D image is created which can then be rotate to offer the security screeners an enhanced look. When the security screeners find a suspicious bag they can then pull it aside and open it for inspection.
American Airlines disclosed that the 3D scanning technology could enable flyers to leave their devices such as laptops as well as aerosols and liquids in their bags and this would speed up the checking in process.
“We are proud to be working collaboratively with the TSA to add new technology to the screening process. Enhancing aviation security is a shared responsibility, and we appreciate the TSA’s partnership in testing this new state-of-the-art equipment at our Phoenix hub,” customer experience senior vice president for American Airlines, Kerry Philipovitch, said in a release.
Facial-recognition and fingerprint technology
The tests being conducted in Phoenix, Arizona will be done in just one checkpoint lane. More tests will be expanded by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts later in the month. Additionally, Customs & Border protection and TSA are partnering at airports located in Denver, Atlanta and Boston to test facial-recognition and fingerprint technology.
Testing of the 3D scanners comes at a time when authorities in the United States are scrambling to deal with emerging threats. For instance, lately there have been reports that terrorists are making bombs which look like laptop batteries. This has prompted the government to impose a ban on tablets and laptops from airline cabins on flights heading to the United States from destinations in Africa and the Middle East.
One argument for the laptop ban is that terrorists would require a much bigger bomb if they were to place it in the cargo area and such a bomb would also need the ability for remote detonation. Also, checked luggage is passed through scanners which is currently not the case with carry-on luggage.