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"American Airlines Testing New Airport Screening Device With U.S.Government"

Thursday, June 15, 2017

American Airlines Testing New Airport Screening Device With U.S. Government 
By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American Airlines and the U.S. Transportation Security 
Administration said on Thursday they were testing a new high-definition airport 
screening device that could allow passengers to keep liquids and laptops in 
carry-on luggage during screening and potentially avoid new restrictions on 
in-cabin electronics.

The new computer tomography or "CT" scanner is being tested in a pilot project 
in single checkpoint lane at Phoenix International Airport and could be a 
long-term solution to avoiding additional security measures. Similar testing is 
expected to begin in Boston later this month, officials said.

The CT scanner being tested by American Airlines Group Inc and the TSA in 
Phoenix is built by L3 Technologies Inc. Testing is also expected to take place 
with other CT scanners this year built by Analogic Corp and Integrated Defense 
& Security Solutions Corp.

The technology is similar to what is currently used to inspect checked luggage 
at U.S. airports today, but traditional X-ray machines are used to inspect 
carry-on luggage.

The CT screening equipment shoots hundreds of images with an X-ray camera that 
spins around the conveyor belt to provide officers with a three-dimensional 
picture of a carry-on bag and uses algorithms to detect explosives, firearms 
and other prohibited items.

The devices could speed up screening by eliminating the need for repeat trips 
through the X-ray machine and most secondary screening, the TSA said.

Flyers on domestic U.S. flights must currently remove laptops and liquids from 
checked luggage during screening.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials opened a two-day meeting on 
Thursday with European officials in Malta to discuss new security measures that 
could prevent the U.S. government from expanding a ban on laptops beyond 
flights from 10 airports primarily in the Middle East.

Homeland Security chief John Kelly told a congressional panel last week he was 
looking at an additional 71 airports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for 
a possible expansion of the ban, but said he was talking about ways it could be 

A European airline industry official told Reuters this week the United States 
had suggested possible enhancements including explosive trace detection 
screening, increased vetting of airports' staff and additional detection dogs.

U.S. restrictions on laptops announced in March, including on flights 
originating from airports in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and 
Turkey, came amid fears a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic 
devices taken aboard aircraft. Britain followed suit with similar restrictions.
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