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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Computed Tomography


TSA is collaborating with airlines and industry to test and deploy Computed Tomography (CT) technology to security checkpoints.

What is CT?

CT MonitorCT is the latest checkpoint X-ray scanning equipment to enhance threat detection capabilities for carry-on baggage. The technology is similar to CT technology used in the medical field and research shows that CT is the most consequential technology available today for airport checkpoints.

TSA’s current screening technology for carry-on bags uses 2-D images. The CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives and other threats by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees for a thorough analysis.

If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure there are no prohibited items inside. 

Advantages of CT

CT technology provides enhanced detection of threat items. Like existing CT technology used for checked baggage, the machines create such a clear picture of a bag’s contents that computers can automatically detect explosives, including liquids.

In the future, the goal is to keep laptops and 3-1-1 liquids inside of the bag during checkpoint screening. Under current screening procedures for this technology, laptops are allowed to remain inside the bag for screening.

Airport Locations

TSA began testing CT technology at the checkpoint in June 2017 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport. In July 2018, John F. Kennedy International Airport received a CT unit.

TSA plans to have 15 units in place at airports around the nation within the next few months.

The initial CT units are being deployed to the following airports:

  • Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

CT Deployment Map

CT Footage

B-roll footage is available for download.

News Coverage

CBS: New 3-D scanners spot explosives older machines could miss, TSA says

Forbes: TSA and American Airlines To Launch 3D Scanning Technology For Carry-On Bags

The Washington Post: 3-D technology to be tested for carry-on bags at JFK Airport

USA Today: TSA testing 3D screening of carry-on bags with American at JFK this month