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TSA tests screening larger electronic devices separately

TSA tests screening larger electronic devices separately. (ABC7)

Travelers at some U.S. airports are being asked to place electronic devices bigger than a cellphone in separate bins so that they can be examined more closely.

The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that it has been testing the procedure at 10 airports for more than a year, and it may be expanded nationwide.

The TSA says the approach is designed to "de-clutter" carry-on bags to make it easier for screeners to examine their contents.

A TSA spokesman says people enrolled in the Precheck program will still be able to leave their laptops in their bags during screening.

“As part of our counterterrorism efforts, TSA continuously enhances and adjusts security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats," says Darby LaJoye, TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Operations. "TSA is currently testing adjusted screening procedures for carry-on bags and other accessible property at about a dozen select U.S. airports, with the potential to expand to other airports nationwide.

“At these airports, travelers will be asked to place electronics larger than a cell phone in a bin separately for X-ray screening. TSA officers may also advise travelers to place other carry-on items separately in a bin. Although, passengers may experience more bag checks, we are testing quicker and more targeted procedures at these locations.

“TSA’s top priority is to protect the traveling public, and every policy and security procedure in place is designed to mitigate threats to passengers and the aviation sector – which we know our adversaries continue to target.”

According to a statement from TSA:

Specific lanes and airports were selected to represent a variety of sizes, locations, equipment, and personnel configurations, and taking into account operational considerations. It is being piloted at these airports:
• Boise Airport (BOI)
• Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
• Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
• Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
• Logan International Airport (BOS)
• Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
• Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
• Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
• McCarran International Airport (LAS)
• Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
At test locations, passengers will be asked to take out electronics larger than a cell phone (i.e. tablets and e-readers) and place them in a bin separately for X-ray screening, and may be asked to ensure that electronics and other items in a bin are not stacked on top of one another. TSA officers will be available in front of the X-ray machine to guide passengers through the screening process and advise on what items will need to be removed from carry-on and placed in a bin separately for X-ray screening. This helps in obtaining a clearer picture on the X-ray machine. If an item alarms, TSA officers will screen the bag/item and will use targeted procedures to effectively and efficiently resolve potential threats.

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