The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed a new computed tomography (CT) scanner in the security checkpoint at Boise Airport in the US to enhance explosives detection.

With the system, the airport’s TSA officers will be able to better detect items inside carry-on luggage that are potential security threats.

This CT scanner utilises a sophisticated algorithm during the screening process. An X-ray camera captures hundreds of images while spinning around the conveyor belt, creating a 3D image of the screened item.

These images can be rotated by the TCA officer for a detailed visual analysis.

This added capability is said to make it easier to identify the shapes and densities of items such as bulk and liquid explosives, which are considered a major threat to commercial aviation.

With the new scanner in place, travellers do not need to remove their laptops and other electronic devices from their carry-on bags at the security checkpoint. However, travel-size liquids will need to be removed before the X-ray screening.

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TSA federal security director for Idaho Andy Coose said: “Because the CT unit provides improved security threat detection capabilities, the TSA officer is able to get a better view of the contents of the bag. This will result in fewer bag checks and reduced contact with travellers’ belongings.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, the reduction of potential touchpoints is good news for travellers and TSA employees alike.”

TSA, which began using Boise Airport earlier this week, has been using CT technology to screen checked baggage for several years. It plans to install more compact CT units in airport security checkpoints across the US.

In 2017, Boise Airport installed a Security Center solution provided by Canadian IP-based system provider Genetec.