TSA to Tighten Electronic Device Screening for All Domestic Flights
There have been quite a few changes in recent weeks when it comes to airport security, especially for international flights. We've seen the electronics ban lifted for all of the affected carriers, and the DHS incidcated that 280 international airports have had to implement enhanced security measures. Now, enhanced security procedures are going to be rolled out right here at home.
The TSA announced on Wednesday that it's going to take a closer look at electronics in domestic airports. The agency said that in the coming weeks and months, passengers going through TSA checkpoints in the US will have to remove all electronic devices larger than cellphones from their carry-on bags. Travelers will have to put those electronics in a separate bin to go through the X-ray screening alone.
In May, the TSA announced the following 10 airports were set to begin this advanced screening testing: Boise (BOI), Boston (BOS), Colorado Springs (COS), Detroit (DTW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Los Angeles (LAX), Lubbock (LBB), Phoenix (PHX), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Juan (SJU). According to the press release, the TSA said that the new security measures being rolled out over the coming weeks and months for all domestic airports follow the successful testing at the 10 airports mentioned above.
"It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe," the agency said. "By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats."
Luckily for frequent flyers, those with TSA PreCheck are exempt from this new policy and do not need to remove large electronic devices from their bags. For travelers going through the "normal," (non-PreCheck) lanes, the TSA said that officers will be stationed in front of the X-ray machines to guide passengers and instruct how to best arrange their items in a bin. It's worth noting there are no changes to what you can or cannot bring through security, but the TSA is just increasing the screening on certain items.
As you'll recall, back in March, the Department of Homeland Security announced that passengers flying from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa could not bring their large electronic devices in their carry-on bags. The cause for that abrupt policy was that there were threats of terrorists hiding explosives in laptops and large electronic devices. Since that ban has been lifted after the airports implemented new security screening procedures, it looks as if the TSA is trying to combat the same threats domestically. The TSA gave no indication as to how long it will take for this new policy to be rolled out nationwide.
H/T: USA Today