TSA implements new screening procedures for carry-on items at Tucson International Airport

Local Press Release
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented new and stronger carry-on baggage security screening procedures at Tucson International Airport (TUS) and seven other airports in Arizona.

The new procedures require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening when going through the security checkpoint. The electronics should be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for several years.

In addition to TUS, these procedures are already in place at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport; Page Municipal Airport; Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport; Prescott Municipal Airport; and Show Low Regional Airport. The new procedures will be in place by the end of the month at Yuma International Airport.

“From time to time, travelers may notice changes in TSA’s screening procedures. This is part of our efforts to stay ahead of evolving threats to the transportation system,” said Charles D. Sparks, TSA Assistant Federal Security Director based in Tucson. “TSA officers will be available in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the changes in the screening process and advise on what items will need to be removed from carry-ons and placed in a bin for X-ray screening.”

Travelers departing airports where the new procedures are in place will be asked to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image of electronic devices.

The new screening procedures were tested at 10 airports over the past several months. The procedures will be implemented at airports nationwide in the coming weeks and months.

TSA has identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear potential threat items in carry-on bags. However, passengers may experience more bag checks so it is strongly advised that passengers arrive at TUS at least 90 minutes prior to their flight’s departure.

At the security checkpoint, 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 electronics in an accessible location. An uncluttered bag makes the screening process easier.

There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint. Liquids in quantities less than 100 ml (3.4 ounces), food, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags. The new security measures do not apply to passengers who are enrolled as a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Trusted Traveler and being screened in a dedicated TSA Pre✓® lane.

In late July, DHS announced that these new carry-on procedures would be implemented at all airports in the coming months. It is part of an effort to raise the baseline for aviation security domestically and stay ahead of the evolving threat against aviation.

In late June, DHS announced new security procedures for nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries. TSA continues to work closely with airports and airlines to enhance security measures.