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Airport security: Lack of advanced screening facilities push authorities to separate laptops and bags

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Computed tomography or CT technology helps in identifying and isolating the contents of a bag by producing three-dimensional images that be rotated for clarity.

Department of Homeland acting Secretary Elaine Duke told Congress on Thursday that the agency lacks funds to introduce advanced screening technologies at every airport.

“We have some funding for the CT technology. We do not have the funding to deploy it at every airport,” said Duke during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, The Hill reported. “To buy it for every airport would require much more than a reprogramming” of funds from Congress.”

Computed tomography or CT technology, helps in identifying and isolating the contents of a bag by producing three-dimensional images that be rotated for clarity. Currently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the US is using 2-D X-ray images to check the contents of luggage. This requires travelers to take out larger electronics like laptops from the bags for proper screening.

However, the cost of the CT technology is double the cost of a standard 2-D scanner. RT.com elaborates, “Despite a proposed $44.1 billion budget for the DHS in Fiscal Year 2018, which includes a $2.8 billion increase from the year prior, and a $3.1 billion budget for 43,190 TSA officers, the department claims it cannot afford the 3-D scanners.”

Reportedly, TSA has already installed eight machines at Boston and Phoenix airports but the agency lacks money to equip all the airports with the latest security technology. Amid security concerns, it is no surprise that the Department of Homeland Security ordered a temporary ban on laptops earlier this year.

“We’re using atomic profile, and the density of material, through the CT scan and slices of the bag,” Mark Laustra, who’s leading the introduction of this tech for the company told WIRE, RT reported. “It’s just like getting a brain scan at a hospital and looking for a brain tumor.”

 


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