Passengers Can Leave Laptops In Bags With Miami’s New CT Scanners

Getting through security Miami International Airport will now go more smoothly. The airport has announced the installation of seven computed/computerized tomography (CT) scanners at six Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints. One of the significant benefits of CT scanners is the ability to have passengers leave laptops and other electronic devices inside their carry-on baggage.

CT Scanner airport
CT Scanners will make security screening easier for screeners and passengers. Photo: Getty Images

New technology, better screening

It’s a technology that was unveiled at London Heathrow last year, and something the TSA has been rolling out in waves. In March 2019, the agency said it would be acquiring 300 new CT scanners for $96.8 million.

According to Popular Science, CT scanners are already in place at checkpoints at airports such as Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago O’Hare. The TSA says its goal is to have machines installed at every airport security checkpoint eventually.

CT scanners provide a higher level of scanning, which includes improved explosive detection screening. This is done through the creation of a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a TSA officer. As per usual, if a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will physically inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside.

New at MIA

These seven units join three others previously installed at MIA. The airport was one of the first in the country to begin rolling out this technology in TSA checkpoints.

Lester Sola, MIA Director, and CEO says that these new scanners from the TSA are helping Miami International Airport to streamline and expedite the screening process for its passengers. Sola states:

“We are proud to be among the first U.S. airports to receive this expansion of CT technology by the TSA.”

The airport says that these machines use sophisticated algorithms to detect explosives, including liquid explosives. The CT checkpoint units have a smaller footprint than those used for checked baggage. This allows for accommodation in the constrained space of a passenger screening area.

“TSA is committed to putting in place the best technology while also improving the screening experience. CT technology enhances TSA’s threat detection capability through both automated detection and allowing our frontline workforce to use the 3-D feature to spin the image that triggered an alarm to ascertain if a threat is present without opening the bag.” -Daniel Ronan, TSA’s Federal Security Director for MIA

Passengers should be happy about now being able to leave their laptops in their carry-on baggage. Photo: US Department of Homeland Security.

The TSA says that in the future, the goal is to keep laptops and liquids inside of the bag during checkpoint screening. Under current screening procedures for this technology, only laptops are allowed to remain inside the bag during screening.

At most major US airports

TSA has CT technology at checkpoints at the following airports:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Have you experienced security screening using a CT scanner? Share your experience with us in the comments!