JFK CT Scanner

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

New Scanner At JFK Uses Medical Tech To View Carry-Ons

July 24, 2018 - 12:44 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A new scanner is being tested at John F. Kennedy International Airport that uses medical technology to screen carry-on bags.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, computed tomography, or CT, scanning has been used by doctors for years. Now, the Transportation Security Administration is using it at Terminal 8 at JFK to see what is in people’s carry-ons.

The image can be rotated, said American Airlines’ Justin Franco.

“Currently, what you have is you take out large objects like your laptop computer, and that’s simply because you can’t detect what’s below,” Franco said. “By the operator being able to rotate the image, she can actually see underneath that laptop, so that can enhance the checkpoint efficiency and the overall process.”

The 3D scanners are expected to detect explosives much more easily. They could also eliminate some traveler annoyances, such as having to take out electronics and liquids and go through the screening process to be stopped as an agent goes through a bag by hand.

American Airlines has invested $6 million in the technology and is donating it to the TSA. There will be eight machines at different airports around the country, and two are already in use in Phoenix in Boston.

The TSA plans to have 15 scanners deployed by the end of the year, and says it is able to buy up to 240 next year as it becomes a budget item.