The US Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Miami International Airport has now been equipped with a computed tomography (CT) scanner.

The new scanner provides enhanced explosive detection capabilities at the checkpoint.

The system makes use of sophisticated algorithms in the detection of explosives by creating a 3D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a TSA officer. If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure that a prohibited item is not contained inside.

Similar to the existing CT technology used for checked baggage, the new machine automatically detects the bulk and liquid explosives by creating a picture of the bag’s content.

In order to cater to space constraints and operational needs, the CT checkpoint units have been designed with a smaller footprint when compared to units used to check baggage.

Passengers moving through a lane with CT will be allowed to leave electronic devices such as laptops in their carry-on bags.

In the future, the new technology will enable passengers to keep 3-1-1 liquids inside the bag.

MIA director and CEO Lester Sola said: “We are extremely proud to be one of the first 18 airports chosen by the TSA for this first wave of CT screening technology deployment. Considering that there are 434 airports nationwide with traditional X-ray screening, we are honoured to be on the frontline of evaluating new security enhancements.

“In addition to increasing screening accuracy, the new CT scanners provide travellers the convenience of keeping electronic devices inside their carry-on bags and may soon allow them to keep approved liquids inside as well, which is welcome news.”

TSA will test, procure and deploy additional CT systems in airports at the earliest.

TSA’s federal security director for the Miami International Airport Daniel Ronan said: “TSA is committed to putting in place the best technology to enhance security while also improving the screening experience. CT technology substantially improves TSA’s threat detection capability at the checkpoint.”