Sunday , October 22 2017

American tests CT scanning to keep laptops in carry-ons

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American Airlines Group Inc. began the first US test of new airport-security scanners that provide a more detailed view inside carry-on luggage and may allow travelers to keep laptops in their bags.
The CT scanner, using technology borrowed from the medical world, is being used in a security checkpoint lane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the airline said in a statement. The testing, at Terminal Four, is being conducted with the Transportation Security Administration.
The experiment comes as the US Department of Homeland
Security (USDHS)  considers whether to expand a ban on electronic devices in airliner cabins that began on some international routes in March. CT scanners are better than existing X-ray devices at detecting explosives, meaning that at some point they could enable passengers to leave laptops, other electronics and possibly even liquids in their bags, vastly simplifying airport security.
“We already use this type of technology for checked baggage, and we expect these smaller checkpoint-sized machines will provide the same high level of security,” TSA Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia said in the statement.
A widespread rollout could take some time. Following previous failed introductions of new equipment, the Transportation Security Administration requires many layers of tests. Also, Congress hasn’t appropriated funds for large purchases of new devices, which cost several hundred thousand dollars apiece and would require $1 billion or more to install at thousands of security lines in the U.S.

High Definition
The machines use computed tomography scanning to create a high-definition, three-dimensional view inside a bag. The image can be rotated for a thorough study and bags can be examined layer by layer. The scanner tested by American was manufactured by L3 Technologies Inc.
The March ban, covering flights from 10 Middle East and North Africa airports to the US, followed concern that terrorists had devised ways to hide explosives in laptops or other electronic
devices larger than a mobile phone. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has considered expanding the ban to
The TSA has sanctioned a second test at Boston’s Logan International Airport, using a CT scanner made by Integrated Defense & Security Solutions Inc., Joseph Paresi, the company’s chief executive officer, said by email. That machine was installed earlier this month and TSA screeners are being trained to use it, Paresi said. The device already is undergoing tests in Amsterdam.
If the tests are successful, American and the TSA may deploy CT scanners to other checkpoint locations, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said.

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epa05051248 (FILE) A file picture dated 26 June 2014 shows Thai Airways aircraft lined up at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded Thailand's aviation safety ratings on 01 December 2015. The US body deemed that Thailand's 'lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards.' As a result of the findings Thailand's safety rating was downgraded from Tier 1 to Tier 2. The downgrade to Tier 2 means that Thailand will not be granted new flight routes to the United States although existing routes can continue operating. The FAA downgrade is the latest blow to Thailand's civil aviation body. The country's Department of Civil Aviation was audited by the UN affiliated International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in January and serious gaps were found in safety standards. As part of its audit, the UN-affiliated watchdog gave Thailand's government 90 days to address the problems. Despite internal reshuffles by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong, ICAO formally red-carded Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation in June.  EPA/BARBARA WALTON

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