TSA checkpoint at BWI airport gets new state-of-the-art 3-D checkpoint scanner to improve explosives detection

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BWI airport is one of the first airports in the country to test new checkpoint security scanner
Local Press Release
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

LINTHICUM, Md. —  A new state-of-the-art advanced technology computed tomography checkpoint scanner (CT) that provides 3-D imaging is being tested at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport. The new technology provides critical explosives detection capabilities at the checkpoint.

The system applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a TSA officer. If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside.  

TSA is conducting this demonstration at Concourse C at BWI airport.

“TSA is committed in getting the best technology to enhance security and improve the screening experience. Use of CT technology substantially improves TSA’s threat detection capability at the checkpoint,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said.

This equipment is similar to what is used to scan checked baggage for explosive devices, and has been “sized” to fit at checkpoints to create such a clear image of a bag’s contents that the system can automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt to provide TSA officers with the three-dimensional views of the contents of a carry-on bag.

Checkpoint CT technology should result in fewer bag checks. Passengers using this machine at BWI Airport will be permitted to leave laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags.

TSA plans to have up to 40 units in place at airports around the nation by the end of the year, along with 16 units at federal testing facilities. More than 145 will be in airports by the end of fiscal year 2019.

Several manufacturers of CT checkpoint technology scanners are providing the devices for testing. The initial 15 units are being deployed to the following airports, with more airports receiving units in the coming months: Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Houston Hobby Airport (HOU), Indianapolis International Airport (IND), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), McCarran International Airport (LAS), Oakland International Airport (OAK), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), San Diego International Airport (SAN), St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) and Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD).

TSA began testing CT in 2017 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport.

For the most up-to-date information about CT and to view a video of the X-ray monitor, visit TSA’s Emerging Technologies page.