DULLES, V.A. — 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 now starting to be phased in at airports in the Washington, D.C., area in the weeks and months 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.
The terror threat is real and TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by constantly enhancing its security procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats.
As TSA implements this new procedure, passengers at Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport 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.
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 TSA officers.
Some examples of personal electronic items that should be removed from carry-on bags include laptops, tablets, e-readers and cameras.
The new procedure is currently being phased in nationwide until all of the checkpoint lanes at all airports are brought on board in the weeks and months ahead. The incremental launch allows time for all TSA officers to receive training in the new security procedure.
The new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre✓® who are using TSA Pre✓® lanes.
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. Passengers also are asked to have an awareness of the food items that they are packing in their carry-on bags as often food items can trigger an alarm, resulting in the need for a bag search. Passengers are not required to remove food items, however if they are packed at the top of their carry-on bags then a bag search will take less time. Passengers may also consider placing food items in the bin in an effort to lessen the likelihood that a bag search will be required.
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 check-in and security screening processes.