The Transportation Security Administration is buying more 3-D baggage scanners for airports that it says should cause lines to move faster. That's because they provide more detailed images of what is inside luggage.
They are Computed Tomography (CT) x-ray systems, similar to what hospitals use. The TSA on Friday announced two orders to Analogic for 469 base and 469 full-size CT systems at a cost of $781.2 million. Installation is expected to start this summer.
The TSA previously announced a $198 million contract with Analogic for 300 mid-size ConneCT x-ray scanners, which are currently being installed in airports. The company website said it can allow for up to 600 bags per hour.
The TSA said the scanners create 3-D images of carry-on items. That means TSA officers will be able to get a 360-degree view of items inside the bag to determine if anything is a potential threat. That can also reduce the amount of false alarms, Analogic said on its website.
The goal is to allow laptops and liquids to remain in the carryon as they go through the scanner. The TSA said laptops are already allowed to stay in the bag when using the 3-D technology.
If a bag still needs extra screening, TSA will take it to the side to inspect it just as they do now.
The systems would also offer "parallel divestiture stations." That means multiple passengers can remove the items in their pockets and their belts at the same time and place them on the conveyor rather than having to go one-by-one. This link shows what that may look like.