New TSA scanners at DTW expected to expedite passenger screening process

Posted at 5:52 AM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 10:19:07-05

(WXYZ) — Going through the TSA checkpoint at Detroit Metro Airport for general fliers will become a little easier. That's due to new technology being installed in the screening line.

The TSA is replacing x-ray machines with new CT scanners, and that will allow passengers to keep their laptops and electronics in their bags and not have to take them out.

"(It will be) way less stressful because I just had an incident on the way up here to Detroit where I forgot to take my laptop out. They rejected my bag. I had to wait in line put the thing back through they have to open it and all that and it takes extra time. If it can go through in one scan that would be wonderful. I would be all for that," Michelle Emmert said.

Unlike traditional x-ray machines, state-of-the-art CT scanners apply what they call sophisticated algorithms to detect weapons, explosives and other TSA prohibited items.

They're already in use at airports in Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing and Traverse City. The images come out in a 3D scan.

"It's A High-Resolution 3D image that's rendered by taking more than 1,000 X-rays to create one image. So, it's that good," Acting Federal Security Director for the State of Michigan Bill Byrne said.

Every day at DTW, TSA screens between 33,000-36,000 passengers, and most passengers have two to three carry-ons going through a checkpoint.

"This should reduce the amount of time that it takes for divestiture which will of course expedite the act of screening process and improve the passenger experience," TSA Assistant Federal Security Director of Screening Reggie Stephens said.

If you get the chance to put your items through these machines, you will no longer need to take out:

  • Laptops or tablets
  • Liquids, gels or aerosols that are 3.4 ounces or less
  • Electronics like cell phones

However, if you're not TSA Precheck or CLEAR, you still have to remove your shoes, belt, jackets and vests.

The other hope is the new machines will help people not forget something at TSA.

It's expected all of the machines will be in place by the end of the summer.