TSA checkpoint at Richmond International Airport gets new state-of-the-art 3-D checkpoint scanner to improve explosives detection

Local Press Release
Thursday, August 27, 2020
The Transportation Security Administration has installed a new computed tomography (CT) scanner at Richmond International Airport. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. —  A new state-of-the-art advanced technology computed tomography checkpoint scanner (CT) that provides 3-D imaging has been installed and is in use at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Richmond International Airport.

“The new technology provides critical explosives detection capabilities at the checkpoint and enhances the TSA Officer’s ability in determining whether an item inside a carry-on bag is a possible threat to aviation security,” said Chuck Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Richmond.

A computed tomography X-ray scanner is now in use at Richmond International Airport. (TSA photo)

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. 

The 3-D imagery enables TSA officers to manipulate the image on screen to get a better view of a bag’s contents and often enables the officers to clear items without having to open a carry-on bag. Additionally, this state-of-the art technology provides an improved security threat detection capability at the checkpoint, while reducing the need for pulling aside a bag to be opened, thus reducing a touchpoint during the pandemic.

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 Richmond International Airport will be permitted to leave laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags.

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