For the first time, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), working collaboratively with American Airlines, is testing a computed tomography (CT) scanner in one checkpoint lane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4.
CT checkpoint scanning equipment aims to enhance threat detection capabilities by providing a 3D image that can be viewed and rotated for a more thorough analysis. “The safety and security of travellers is the number one priority of TSA, and our partnership with industry, such as American Airlines, is critical in helping develop innovative and critical security enhancements,” says Huban Gowadia, TSA Acting Administrator. “We already use this type of technology for checked baggage, and we expect these smaller checkpoint-sized machines will provide the same high level of security.”
The new CT screening equipment shoots hundreds of images with an X-ray camera that spins around the conveyor belt to provide officers with a detailed picture of a carry-on bag. The system applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives, firearms and other items banned in carry-on baggage.
3D CT technology could make it possible to allow passengers to leave liquids, gels and aerosols, as well as laptops, in their carry-on bags at all times, resulting in quicker throughput.
“As a major hub airport and an important partner of American Airlines, it is appropriate that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the first in the nation for this new technology,” comments Jim Bennett, Director of Aviation Services, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. “Safety and security are our top priorities, followed closely by customer service. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our airline partners and the TSA to better serve our travellers.”
If the pilot testing is successful, TSA and American Airlines may deploy CT technology to other checkpoint locations.
“We are proud to be working collaboratively with the TSA to add new technology to the screening process,” explains Kerry Philipovitch, Senior Vice President – Customer Experience, American Airlines. “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.”