Lonely Planet Writer

The US has certified airport scanners that could let travellers leave liquids and laptops in their bags

Getting through airport security can be one of the most tedious parts of travel. Getting all the liquids and laptops out of thousands of travellers’ bags can make the queues move unbearably slow. Thankfully, new technology may soon have travellers leaving those items in their bags at US airports – hopefully meaning less time spent waiting at security checks.

Teenage girl putting personal items into the containers at the airport security checkpoint.
You may soon be able to leave your liquids in your bag at US airports. Image by izusek/Getty Images

A new CT (computed tomography) screening technology for airport checkpoints has been given Transportation Security Administration (TSA) certification in the US. This means that the scanners, which use 3D imaging and touch displays to show a 360-degree view of bags to security staff, are ready for more testing, but are closer to becoming a reality in airports around the country.

The new technology is ultimate designed to help move lines faster as travellers will no longer have to fuss with removing their personal electronics and liquids from their bags. According to the company behind it, Analogic, this is the result of 10 years of research and development, and will actually help increase the level of security as travellers head through the airport. The company also says the technology is adaptable enough to develop in order to address new threats.

“With record-breaking air travel numbers and new threats to the public, it is ever more important to deploy cutting-edge technology that can evolve with the security landscape,” said Jim Ryan, a senior vice president at Analogic said in a statement.

The systems have already been trialled by American Airlines, after the airline brought in the CT technology at checkpoints last year. The airline installed automated lanes at its hubs around the country, like Chicago and LA, in partnership with the TSA, which was examining whether the technology is viable for use in airports.