HUNTINGTON — Huntington Tri-State Airport is now equipped with a three-dimensional checkpoint scanner, officials announced on Monday.
The new advanced technology computed tomography scanner that provides 3D images was recently installed at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, according to the airport’s director, Brent Brown.
“We are excited to have this new technology at Huntington Tri-State Airport,” Brown said. “This new 3D scanner and software will improve both safety and efficiency as passengers pass through the checkpoint.”
The unit provides improved explosives detection capabilities for screening carry-on items, according to the TSA.
“The new unit is an enhancement in TSA’s ability to detect explosives,” said TSA’s West Virginia Federal Security Director John C. Allen. “This scanner provides our officers with the ability to zoom in on and rotate a 3D image of a carry-on bag, which enables our team to get a more complete picture and understanding of the contents of a bag.”
Allen said the system applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a transportation security officer.
He said the technology creates such a clear image of a bag’s contents that the system can automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt to provide TSA officers with the three-dimensional views of the contents of a carry-on bag.
“Previously, our screening technology for carry-on bags used 2D images,” he said. “The CT technology applies advanced algorithms for the detection of explosives, including liquid explosives and other threat items.”
Allen added that it takes a few extra seconds for the TSA officer to view the image and rotate it to get a better understanding of its contents.
“However in most instances, rotating the image allows the TSA officer to identify an item inside the bag and clear it without a need to open it for inspection,” he said. “Checkpoint CT technology should result in fewer bag checks. However, if a bag requires further screening, a transportation security officer will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside.”
The CT unit has a slightly smaller entry tunnel and not all larger carry-on bags will fit into the scanner, so the TSA recommends that large carry-on items be checked with the airline.
“Passengers using these machines at Huntington will be permitted to leave their laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags,” Allen said.