The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it is implementing new screening procedures for personal electronic devices at airport security checkpoints. Travellers will now have to place all electronic devices larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes.
Following extensive testing and pilots at 10 airports, the TSA plans to expand these measures to all US airports in the coming months.
As the new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travellers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This will help TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image.
The TSA has stated that passengers may experience more bag checks. However, it has also said that “through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags”. TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the screening process and recommend how best to arrange their carry-on items for X-ray screening.
TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia commented: “Whether you’re flying to, from, or within the United States, TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network to keep flying as a safe option for everyone.”
The new screening procedures in standard security screening lanes are already in place at 10 airports: Boise Airport, Colorado Springs Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Logan International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, McCarran International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Gowadia added: “It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”
The new security measures do not apply to TSA PreCheck members, who can use dedicated PreCheck security lanes.