In anticipation of increases in the number of air travelers over spring break, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) demonstrated its new technologies and modified security procedures at the Spokane International Airport (GEG) Thursday.
Using computed tomography (CT) technology to screen travelers’ carry-on luggage, the TSA can apply sophisticated algorithms during the screening process to images shot by an X-ray camera to generate a 3-D image of the item being screened.
The image can then be manipulated to give screeners a better view of a bag’s contents, allowing the TSA officer the ability to check the bag for security threats without having to open it manually. The new procedure reduces physical contact between the traveler and TSA officer and speeds up the overall screening process. Travelers can also leave everything in their carry-on bags, including electronics and food, when it is screened through the CT scanner.
GEG is also employing Credential Authentication Technology (CAT), which can confirm the validity of a traveler’s photo ID and confirm flight information in near real-time. When CAT is in use, travelers approaching the travel document checking podium can insert or scan their photo ID into the system. CAT units can verify the holder’s identity and flight information and identify fraudulent or tampered documents. The self-service authentication eliminates the need to hand over photo ID and boarding passes to the TSA officer, reducing potential cross-contamination.
The new procedures are part of the TSA’s “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure” campaign to protect both travelers and TSA officers. Other campaign elements include acrylic barriers at security checkpoints; all officers wearing face masks and gloves, travelers wearing masks, social distancing, and increased frequency and intensity of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces at checkpoints.