New TSA procedures target electronics, food

Elaina Athans Image
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
A Transportation Security Administration inspector watches as travelers move through a security checkpoint at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

The Transportation Security Administration is considering implementing new screening procedures at airports throughout the country as part of counterterrorism efforts.

Electronics larger than a cell phone as well as some food items would have to be placed in their own bins.

"That's insane. It's crazy," said RDU traveler Gabrielle Perrier.

Gabrielle and her brother, Philip, figured out they would have needed eight compartments between them to lay down on the belt and get through security with the TSA's new procedure.

"That's way too many bins," Phillip said. "There's already bins for shoes, bins for computers."

The changes could go into effect later this year.

"TSA continuously enhances and adjusts security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats. TSA is currently testing adjusted screening procedures for carry-on bags and other accessible property at about a dozen select U.S. airports, with the potential to expand to other airports nationwide," said TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Darby LaJoye. "TSA's top priority is to protect the traveling public, and every policy and security procedure in place is designed to mitigate threats to passengers and the aviation sector - which we know our adversaries continue to target."

Traveler Michael Lukela is offering his support and said, "I think that'll be a good thing overall for security."

The TSA has found that everyday items can appear similar to explosives on an x-ray, and an officer will then have to stop and search through a bag to ensure there are no bombs. The agency hopes by screening items separately, officers can cut down on manual bag checks.

Cynthia Livingston, a former flight attendant, believe the changes will lead to longer lines.

"You think the lines are long now? Just wait. It's going to be really bad if every single thing has to have its own bin," she said. "You might as well come out three hours early and hope that you get on your airplane."

The changes will only impact folks who go through the standard screening line. If you have Precheck, you should not be affected.

The screening changes are being tested right now at these airports:

  • Boise Airport (BOI)
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)