TSA raising aviation security baseline with stronger security measures

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New screening procedures for carry-on bags with strong focus on electronic threats
Local Press Release
Friday, January 26, 2018

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS – To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun implementing new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items at airports across the country. The new procedures, which have been rolling out across the country, and which will begin next week at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard checkpoint lanes.

“TSA is not just what you see at the checkpoint. We are a counterintelligence agency committed to aviation security,” said TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz. “We appreciate our partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport as we work together to stay ahead of any evolving threats.”

TSA officers will be asking 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, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers to obtain a clearer X-ray image. Passengers will experience a bag check if they fail to follow this procedure, which will slow screening for them and everyone else in line. Passengers in the TSA Pre✓® program generally will be exempt from this procedure during hours when the program is running. But any passenger’s electronics or other belongings may be subject to additional screening at any time.

“Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport has always provided the convenience of being your hometown airport and we anticipate our passengers will quickly adapt to the new procedures geared towards everyone’s safety and security,” said Kelly L. Johnson, Airport Director, Northwest Arkansas Airport Authority.

TSA officers will 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 bags 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 an hour and a half prior to their scheduled departure time to allow adequate time to navigate the ticketing, baggage and security screening processes.