The TSA and American Airlines Have a Plan to Make Airport Security Screenings Slightly Less Painful

Jacket off, belt off, put them and your bag in the bin. Shoes off and into the bin. Laptop out of its case and into the bin. Bag of liquids into the bin, unopened bottle of water into the trash. Hands up for the full-body scan and wait for your things to come through the X-ray machine.

The comprehensive airport security routine has become second-nature to business travelers. But the Transportation Security Administration is testing a new screening tool with American Airlines (AAL) that could make it slightly less annoying.

At New York’s JFK airport yesterday, the TSA and American demonstrated a computed tomography (CT) bag scanning machine made by Analogic Corp. (ALOG) that creates 3D images of suitcases’ contents, with zoom and rotation functions, to help detect threats.

Courtesy of Analogic

The CT scanners “could offer the opportunity for passengers to leave liquids, gels and aerosols, as well as laptops, in their carry-on bags at all times,” American Airlines wrote.

American said the TSA expects to begin testing the new CT technology at JFK in late July, and it is also being deployed at airport security checkpoints in Phoenix and Boston. The TSA expects to fire up 15 of the Analogic machines across the country by the end of the year. CBS News reported that American Airlines donated eight of the $300,000 scanners to the TSA, which has been authorized to buy up to 240 in 2019.

“We think in perhaps five years or so, the passengers won’t have to take anything out of their carry-on bags,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CBS News.

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