TSA introduces new baggage screening equipment at Lynchburg Regional Airport

Local Press Release
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
TSA officers at Lynchburg Regional Airport screen a piece of checked luggage using the new computed tomography scanner. (TSA photo)

LYNCHBURG, Va.--The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed a new piece of high-tech baggage screening equipment at Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH) to screen checked baggage instead of having TSA officers manually inspect each piece of baggage whether it is a suitcase, duffel-bag, knapsack, box, golf bag or other item. 

“This new piece of technology will streamline the check-in process, while adding efficiency, convenience and enhanced security,” said Chuck Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “With the addition of this new security technology, only bags that trigger an alarm will need a manual inspection by our TSA officers.”

The new scanner uses computed tomography (CT)  technology to enhance threat detection capabilities for checked baggage. It is similar to CT technology used in the medical field and research shows that CT is the most consequential technology available today for airport checkpoints.  The CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives and other threats by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees on a monitor for a thorough analysis by a TSA officer. If the bag requires additional screening, a TSA officer will manually inspect it to ensure that there are no prohibited items inside.

  “These units create a very clear image of a bag’s contents on a monitor and it enhances our capability to detect threat items such as explosives, including liquid explosives,” Burke said.

The screening of checked baggage for explosives at Lynchburg had previously been conducted manually by using explosive trace detection equipment. TSA officers had been opening each checked bag and swabbing it for traces of explosives before allowing the bag to be cleared and loaded onto aircraft. The new CT system will screen baggage automatically and will alert TSA officials if something inside needs a closer inspection by a TSA officer.  It’s faster and more efficient.

Travelers flying out of Lynchburg with a piece of baggage to check will come to their airline check-in counter to get their baggage tagged for its destination. Then the passengers will take their tagged bags to the new checked baggage scanner where TSA officers will place them on the belt and scan them while the passenger proceeds to the checkpoint.