TSA at Boise Airport using 3-D checkpoint scanner to improve explosives detection

Local Press Release
Friday, September 18, 2020

BOISE, Idaho – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Boise Airport has installed a new computed tomography (CT) scanner in the security checkpoint. The scanner utilizes state-of-the art technology and improves the ability of TSA officers to detect items inside carry-on luggage that are potential security threats.

The CT scanner applies a sophisticated algorithm during the screening process while an X-ray camera shoots hundreds of images while spinning around the conveyor belt, generating a 3-D image of the item being screened.

A TSA officer is able to rotate the X-ray image on-screen for a thorough visual analysis. This additional capability makes it easier to detect shapes and densities of items including bulk and liquid explosives, which are the greatest threat to commercial aviation.

“Because the CT unit provides improved security threat detection capabilities, the TSA officer is able to get a better view of the contents of the bag. This will result in fewer bag checks and reduced contact with travelers’ belongings,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “During the coronavirus pandemic, the reduction of potential touchpoints is good news for travelers and TSA employees alike.”

Travelers whose carry-on luggage is screened by a CT scanner can leave laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags. Travel-size liquids should be removed prior to X-ray screening.

This technology is similar to what is currently used in the medical field during a CT scan. TSA has used CT technology to screen checked baggage for several years and is in the process of installing the compact CT units in airport security checkpoints across the country. TSA began using the CT scanner at Boise Airport earlier this week.