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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.