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TSA strengthening electronics screening measures for domestic air travel

(KLTV) -

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has announced stronger screening procedures for carry-on items, including electronic devices.

The new guidelines require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. TSA has tested this procedure at ten airports, they said, and now they plan to expand the measures to all U.S. airports in the coming weeks.

“Whether you’re flying to, from, or within the United States, TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network to keep flying as a safe option for everyone,” said TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia.

The TSA website says that as new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin, with nothing on top or below, the way laptops have been screened in previous years. They say this helps officers obtain a clearer X-ray image.

Be prepared for more bag checks, in some cases, but TSA says that they have identified ways to improve screening procedures with "quicker and more targeted measures" to clear the bags. 

These airports currently have the new screening procedures in place, according to TSA:

  • Boise Airport (BOI)
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) 
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

The new procedures will mean that in standard screening lanes, TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the screening process and will recommend how best to arrange carry-on items, like those aforementioned electronics, for screening. They hope that travelers will keep this in mind as they prepare, and will organize their carry-on bags, keeping them uncluttered for the screening process. This will help keep the lines moving, they say. 

They say there are no changes to what, and how much, travelers can bring through the checkpoint, such as food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, electronics and books. 

“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats,” said Gowadia.

The new stronger security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre-Check who are using Pre-Check lanes.

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