The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is in the process of installing two new computed tomography (CT) X-ray scanners at the security checkpoint at West Virginia International Yeager Airport. During installation, travelers should plan to arrive at the airport two hours prior to their scheduled flight because only one of the two checkpoint lanes is in use during the installation process. Arriving early will ensure that individuals have plenty of time to park, return a rental car (if it applies), check in with their airline and get through the security screening process.
The two new CT scanners screen carry-on items at the checkpoint by applying a sophisticated algorithm as they generate a 3-D image of the contents of carry-on bags. This new technology creates such a clear image of a bag’s contents that the system can automatically detect explosives and other threat items by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt to provide TSA officers with the 3-D views of the contents of a carry-on bag. A TSA officer can view the 3-D X-ray image on a monitor and manipulate the image to get a better view of the bag’s contents, ultimately reducing the number of carry-on bags that need to be opened and manually inspected. However, if a bag requires further screening, a TSA officer will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside.
With the summer travel season in full swing, TSA is aware that this is a busy period and after checking in at the airline counter, passengers are advised to get into the security line immediately because it will take longer to screen travelers while only one security lane is in operation.
The CT units represent not only enhanced security but also passenger convenience because passengers using these machines at Yeager Airport are permitted to leave their laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags. Additionally, passengers screened in security lanes with CT units do not need to remove their travel-sized 3-1-1 liquids.
With the new CT scanners, all carry-on items, including roller-bags, need to be placed into a bin for screening instead of being placed directly on the conveyor belt. The new scanners are more efficient for the passenger than the older advanced technology machines, which provided TSA officers with only a 2-D image and required the passenger to remove, or divest, various items from their carry-on bags before being screened. Since the new CT scanners do not require divestiture of items from carry-on bags, it saves time.