BUFFALO, N.Y. — To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun to implement new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items at airports across the country with the procedures being phased in at all upstate New York airports in the weeks ahead. The new procedures require travelers to place all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening and are designed to address the current terror threat by raising the baseline of aviation security. The new procedures were originally announced earlier this year.
“TSA constantly enhances its security procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats,” said TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson. “The terror threat is real and TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security.
“As we implement this new procedure, passengers can expect to see TSA officers ask travelers 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, similarly to how laptops have been screened for years,” Johnson explained.
This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image by uncluttering carry-on bags, thus allowing for a clearer X-ray image for our officers.
Examples of personal electronic items that should be removed from carry-on bags include laptops, tablets, e-readers and cameras.
The new procedures are currently being phased in nationwide until all of the checkpoint lanes at all airports are brought on board in the weeks ahead. The incremental launch allows time for all TSA officers to receive training in the new security measures.
The new procedures are expected to be in place starting this month at the major four Upstate New York airports—Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Greater Rochester International Airport, Syracuse Hancock International Airport and Albany International Airport. The enhanced security protocols also will be implemented at all of the smaller airports in New York state such as Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, Niagara Falls International Airport, Plattsburgh International Airport, Greater Binghamton Airport, Ogdensburg International Airport, Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport, Watertown International Airport, Massena International Airport and Adirondack Regional Airport.
It is possible that more carry-on bags may experience bag checks, however, TSA has identified ways to improve screening procedures for carry-on bags, with quicker and more targeted measures for officers to clear the bags. So the new process is not expected to alter checkpoint wait times.
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. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving.
There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint. Food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags. As always, TSA suggests passengers arrive to the airport two hours prior to their scheduled departure time from the nation’s largest airports to allow adequate time to navigate the ticketing, baggage and security screening processes.
The new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre✓® who are using TSA Pre✓® lanes.