The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on July 30 announced plans to roll out computed tomography scanners (CT) at a host of airports in cities across the US.

The agency predicted that using CT scanners at checkpoints would lead to fewer bag checks, and that passengers may also be able to keep laptops and liquids in their carry-on luggage in the future.

The 3D technology, which has long been used for medical imaging in hospitals, is intended to enhance detection capabilities of critical explosives and other threat items. The CT system uses advanced algorithms to detect explosives and constructs a 3D image that can be rotated 360 degrees and viewed on three axes by TSA officers. The scanners provide the agency with a clearer view than traditional X-ray machines.

“TSA is committed in getting the best technology to enhance security and improve the screening experience. Use of CT technology substantially improves TSA’s threat detection capability at the checkpoint,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “By leveraging strong partnerships with industry, we are able to deploy new technology quickly and see an immediate improvement in security effectiveness.”

TSA began testing CT technology at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport in 2017. Over the next few months, TSA will be rolling out the scanners at 15 airports in cities across the country including Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Ben Goldstein,