CCIA gives us a heads-up on some changes the TSA has planned for carry-on screening.
By: Kim Bridger-Hunt
If there’s one thing to be sure of in the world of airports, it’s that change is not only inevitable – it’s constant. Air travel has changed beyond description in the past 20 years. When it comes to security, there is no shortage of new initiatives floating around.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently testing some new screening procedures at 10 airports around the nation. These new procedures have the potential to help TSA officers detect dangerous material hidden in some of the most common items carried by travelers. They also have the potential to slow things down at the TSA security checkpoints.
At the test airports, TSA officers are asking travelers to remove all electronics that are larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and to place them in bins with nothing on top of the items and nothing below. This is similar to what TSA officers have been doing with laptops for years. Under the new process, small tablets, iPads, e-readers, handheld game consoles and even digital cameras will have to be removed.
According to the TSA, removing these items and separating them prior to running them through the X-ray will make it easier to detect any dangerous material that might be hidden inside. In a recent news release, the TSA indicated that if the testing in the pilot airports is successful, the agency will implement these measure at all U.S. airports during the weeks and months ahead.
What does that mean for travelers at Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA)? If the new measures are implemented at CCIA, travelers may experience slightly longer wait times at the TSA security checkpoint. These enhanced carry-on procedures are apparently not planned for the TSA Pre-Check lanes. At TSA Pre-Check, travelers do not have to remove shoes, jackets or laptops. And that is expected to continue into the future.
There are no changes to what travelers can take through the checkpoint with this new initiative. The change will apply mainly to electronics; however, the TSA is also warning that more bag checks will likely occur once this new procedure is started.
Travelers will be encouraged to pay attention to how they organize their carry-on bags. Placing electronics where they can be easily removed will help cut down on the time it takes to comply with the rules. While TSA is not officially identifying additional items that may need to be removed and screened separately in the future, there is certainly the possibility that more items will be added to the list.
For the time being, food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquid rule, electronics and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags. But stay tuned. TSA is indicating that more change is coming as the agency works to stay ahead of evolving threats and to keep passengers safe.
If it sounds like a great time to avoid these changes and apply for TSA Pre-Check, keep in mind that the application process is quite easy. You can fill out the application online at tsa.gov, set an appointment at a local business to do your fingerprinting, pay the $85 fee and have your Pre-Check known traveler number in four to six weeks. TSA Pre-Check allows officers to focus resources on passengers who may pose a high risk to security while expediting the screening process for those who have been granted the Pre-Check designation and are considered low-risk, trusted travelers.
If you have questions about TSA, visit their website at tsa.gov. And as always, we’d love to hear from you anytime. When it’s time to plan your next trip, remember that the more we use the air service we have at CCIA, the better our chances of having more choices in the future.
Kim Bridger-Hunt is the marketing manager at CCIA. For more information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.