TSA Reportedly Will Begin Testing Long-Distance Body Scanners

Nov 5, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The Transportation Security Administration has reportedly approved a program to test a device that would scan multiple air passengers for explosives or other weapons from a distance of up to 25 feet away in airports.

The device, known as a “passive terahertz” screening, has previously been tested at select train stations in the US. The clunky 50-pound, computer-like device screens passengers’ outlines and reveals any concealed weapons or explosive devices that could be hidden beneath flyers’ clothing. The TSA hopes the new technology will help alleviate increasingly crowded airport security checkpoints as more and more travelers take to the skies every year, the LA Times reports.

The TSA first began testing this new security measure in the Los Angeles transit system in 2017. Following an attempted terror attack in December 2017 where a man detonated a pipe bomb in a Manhattan subway station, New York Senator Chuck Schumer strongly urged TSA to consider implementing the technology in New York City. So, the screening device was tested at New York’s Penn Station.

This summer, the LA transit system confirmed it would be the first city in the country to use the body scanners full-time after the test period was deemed successful.

The device operates a thermal-imaging system and uses an individual’s “naturally-occurring emissions from the human body” as well as radio waves to detect hidden weapons. If a weapon is detected, the scanner sets off an alarm on the equipment operator’s laptop. Each scanner can process up to 2,000 passengers per hour.

If the scanners pass the TSA’s initial airport test phase, they could be used on a trial basis at additional US airports, Kevin Gramer, vice president of Thruvision Americas, which builds the devices, told the LA Times.

TPG reached out to the TSA for more information on the body scanner tests but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Featured image by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.