TSA implements new screening procedures for carry-on items at Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport, other Montana airports

Local Press Release
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented new and stronger carry-on baggage security screening procedures at Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) and other Montana airports.

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.

The new screening procedures were tested at 10 airports across the country over the past several months. The procedures will be implemented at all airports nationwide by spring 2018.

“TSA constantly evaluates and occasionally updates its screening procedures to keep the traveling public secure. This is part of the agency’s effort to stay ahead of evolving threats against the transportation system,” said Dan Fevold, TSA Federal Security Director for Montana. “By removing electronics larger than a cell phone from the carry-on bag, TSA officers can get a clear view on the x-ray screen of the electronics as well as a clearer and uncluttered view of the contents of the carry-on bag.”

TSA officers will be stationed in the front of the security checkpoint to answer questions about the new procedures and provide guidance when going through screening. Please listen to the direction the officers are giving to ensure the process goes smoothly. When going through the security checkpoint this holiday season, passengers departing airports in Montana can expect to see the new procedures in place.

Passengers should continue to remove their one-quart bag containing liquids, gels and aerosols in quantities of less than 100 ml (3.4 ounces). The new procedures now require the bag to be placed in a bin by itself for x-ray screening. By simply removing these specific items from the carry-on, TSA officers are able to obtain a clearer view of them on the x-ray screen.

TSA in Montana oversees aviation security at 12 airports across the state including Bert Mooney Airport in Butte; Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport; Dawson Community Airport in Glendive; Glasgow International Airport; Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell; Great Falls International Airport; Helena Regional Airport; Havre City-County Airport; Missoula International Airport; L M Clayton Airport in Wolf Point; Sidney-Richland Airport in Sidney; and Yellowstone Airport in West Yellowstone.

TSA has identified ways to more quickly improve the detection of prohibited items by using 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 BZN at least two hours prior to their flight’s departure. At other Montana airports, arriving at least 90 minutes prior to the flight’s departure is recommended.

Travelers can prepare for these new procedures by following a few simple steps:

  • Organize the carry-on bag so electronics larger than a cell phone can be quickly and easily accessed when at the security checkpoint.
  • Ensure the quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols can also be accessed quickly and easily.
  • Don’t overstuff the carry-on bag. Consider checking bags when feasible.
  • Once screening is complete, be sure to put all electronics back in the carry-on bag. Double-check the bins to make sure nothing is left behind.

There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint. Liquids in quantities of less than 100 ml (3.4 ounces), food, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags.

The new measures do not apply to passengers who are being screened in a dedicated TSA Pre✓® lane. Members of the public who are interested in becoming eligible for TSA Pre✓® on a consistent basis can enroll at BZN Monday, January 15 through Friday, January 19, 2018 from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The enrollment center will be located pre-security on the second floor of the terminal. To learn more about TSA Pre✓® or to make an appointment, visit tsa.gov/precheck and select “Belgrade, MT” as the location. Walk-ins will be accommodated around scheduled appointments.

In late July, DHS announced that these new carry-on procedures would be implemented at all airports. 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 launched a broad initiative to enhance security requirements for all direct commercial flights into the United States. These measures, both seen and unseen, include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices as well as heightened security standards for aircraft and airports at nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries. TSA continues to work closely with airports and airlines to enhance and implement these security measures.