CT scanner to screen carry-on luggage at Bishop International Airport

The device provides TSA screeners with better images of luggage contents without opening bags
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 11:47 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Carry-on luggage will be getting a CT scan before it is allowed on flights at Bishop International Airport in Flint.

The Transportation Security Administration is deploying same X-ray image technology used in the medical field for decades to provide better screening of carry-on bags at airport checkpoints around the country. TSA officials have used CT scans on checked baggage, but are expanding it to carry-on bags this year.

The compact CT scanner provides a 3-D image of baggage contents for screeners to better detect and assess potential threats.

“The CT scanner applies a sophisticated algorithm during the screening process, while an X-ray camera takes hundreds of images as the luggage is spun around on its conveyor belt,” said Bishop International Airport Director Nino Sapone. “It then generates a 3-D image of the item being screened. It operates quickly and easily and will not slow down our passengers as they go through the checkpoint.”

TSA officers can rotate images of a potential threat inside a bag to better analyze whether the contents contain explosives or other weapons. The improved images can detect shapes and densities of items more easily.

“This new 3-D imagery will allow our TSA officers to manipulate the image on a screen to clear items without having to open a carry-on bag,” said Detroit TSA Federal Security Director Steve Lorincz. “This improved security threat detection capability at the airport security checkpoints will help find prohibited items and will also reduce pulling aside a bag to be opened and searched, thus reducing a touchpoint during this pandemic.”

Bishop airport officials say passengers can leave computers and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags during the CT scan process. However, travel size liquids should be removed from carry-on luggage before walking through the TSA checkpoint.

The new CT scanner at Bishop went into service earlier this month.

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