Lonely Planet Writer

Laptops and liquids can stay in your carry-on bags thanks to TSA's new scanners

One minor travel hassle is soon to be eliminated, thanks to the implementation of new screening technology at US airports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced that the introduction of CT, or computed tomography, will ultimately enable passengers to keep their laptops and liquids in their carry-on bags while going through the security screening process.

The TSA has announced that passengers will be able to keep their laptops in carry-on bags thanks to CT. Image: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

The TSA awarded Smiths Detection, Inc. a $96.8m (€86.1m) contract for 300 CT systems and associated ancillary equipment and services over five years. It says that this technology will vastly enhance threat detection capabilities for carry-on baggage and improve overall effectiveness at airport security checkpoints across the US. It will enable security officers to digitally rotate images to examine the contents of travellers’ luggage. Passengers will benefit by not having to remove their laptops and present them separately, and ultimately, within a few years, the same will apply to liquids, gels and aerosols.

CT will improve overall effectiveness at airport security checkpoints across the US. Image: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The TSA has been testing CT technology at more than a dozen airports since 2017, and expects that the new system will be deployed between summer 2019 and some time in 2020. It says that the scanners will utilise 3D scanning technology to enable screening officers to detect explosives and other threats to commercial aviation with “unprecedented precision.”

The ultimate goal of the new technology is to keep passengers, airport and airline staff safe. Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The TSA has revealed that the ultimate goal of the new technology is to keep passengers, airport and airline staff safe and to provide the best passenger experience possible. On the latter point, not having to remove laptops and liquids will definitely be a step in the right direction.