American Airlines invests $6 million for new 3D scanners at airports

The future of airport security will be a lot safer with the introduction of new 3D scanning machines.

Produced by Analogic Corporation, these machines use Computed Tomography (CT) technology to provide a 360-degree view of baggage going through the scanner. American Airlines (AAL) invested $6 million to purchase multiple units of the Analogic ConneCT system which the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will test at airports around the US.

Currently, CT machines are being piloted at Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) and Logan International in Boston (BOS). Passengers transiting through Terminal 4 at Phoenix and Terminal E at Boston may be asked to volunteer for screening using this technology.

When a bag goes through security today, TSA officials are met with a two-dimensional picture offering limited views. With the Analogic machines, security officials will be able to rotate the image and zoom in to get a better view.

Courtesy of Analogic

“We believe strongly in risk-based, intelligence-driven security protocols, which enable the aviation industry to identify, manage and mitigate risk,” said Kerry Philipovitch, senior vice president for customer service at American Airlines. “Our partnerships with the TSA and Analogic will transform aviation security by bringing state-of-the-art CT technology to the security checkpoint.”

This enhanced level of detection could allow passengers to leave liquids, gels, and aerosols in their bags. The TSA will also be able to see concealed weapons and explosives, even those hidden within personal electronic devices like laptops.

In recent months, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed concern with the growing threat of explosives hidden in laptop computers. There are currently 10 airports under an electronic laptop ban, which prohibits items larger than a smartphone from being placed in a carry-on. Instead, passengers have to place these items in their checked bags. The Trump administration has considered extending the ban to flights coming to the US from European cities, but says it will hold off if overseas airports step up security.

CT technology could become a tool for security officials to properly screen and detect harmful items without forcing passengers to remove electronics from carry-on bags.

“We already use this type of technology for checked baggage, and we expect these smaller checkpoint-sized machines will provide the same high level of security,” said TSA Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia.

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. 

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