TSA testing new scanners that shoot 3D graphics of bags

By Trevor Pettiford, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017, 11:29 AM EDT

The Transportation Safety Administration is testing new baggage scanners that are supposed to make flying safer.

  • American Airlines, TSA partner on testing
  • Boston, Phoenix are test airports
  • Machine creates 3D graphic of your bags

The 3D images they create also mean passengers won't have to remove laptops or liquids.

When you first take a look, it appears to be your ordinary X-ray machine. You wait in line, put your bag in and hope nothing sets it off.

But what's happening inside the new machine is giving TSA agents a look at your stuff in a way they've never been able to before.

Cameras inside are shooting hundreds of images to create a 3D graphic of your bag and what's inside.

So, for example, if an agent wants to see what's underneath your makeup bag, the agent can click a few buttons and literally lift it up.

The scanners use computed tomography instead of the X-rays that traditional baggage scanners rely on. It's what TSA currently uses to screen checked bags.

If the technology takes off it would eliminate you having to take out every liquid, every laptop and other things you have to take out to get through security now.

American Airlines partnered with the TSA on testing, with Phoenix and Boston chosen as the test airports.