The Transportation Security Administration has issued new airport screening guidelines that will require devices such as Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle, and the Nintendo Switch to be placed in separate bins.
While the new rules will likely increase the time needed for travelers to pass through airport screening, the TSA believes that the changes are necessary for added security.
New Airport Screening Rules For Electronic Devices
In a press release explaining the new airport screening rules, the TSA said that it will start to require travelers to place all electronic devices that are larger than mobile phones in bins to pass through X-ray screening in standard lanes.
The new rules will require travelers to remove such devices from their luggage and place them in separate bins. According to the TSA, this will allow airport security offers to acquire clearer X-ray images on the devices.
The process is already being used in 10 airports across the United States, with plans to expand the new rules to all airports in the country over the next several months.
For travelers who will pass by airports that will use the new screening rules, it is recommended to arrange the contents of carry-on baggage in such a way that it will be easy to take out electronic devices for screening. There is no other change on the items that are allowed to be brought past airport security.
The rules, however, will not apply to passengers who are enrolled in the TSA Pre Check program, which travelers can avail for $85. They will undergo background checks and fingerprinting to be able to skip the long airport screening lines, as they will not need to remove their shoes, laptops, and now also other electronics.
Additional Airport Security
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly recently said that travelers have started to include more items in their carry-on luggage to avoid excess fees for the check-in baggage. This has made it more difficult for TSA officials to get a clear look at the contents of bags.
The concern is that terrorists might take advantage of the trend and conceal items such as explosives inside electronic devices. This is the same concern that got laptops banned in flights, though that has since been rescinded for airports that meet revised screening standards.
In addition to electronic devices being scanned separately, the new airport screening guidelines may also subject travelers to an increased number of bag checks. TSA officials, however, will implement quicker and more targeted strategies for luggage examinations.