Bad news, photographers: your airport experience in the United States is now more tedious if you’re planning to carry a camera onto the plane. The TSA just announced that all electronics larger than a cell phone need to be placed into a bin for separate screening.
If you’re bringing a camera bag or case onto the plane to keep it with you, you’ll be required to pull the camera(s) out of the bag and place them inside a bin for X-ray screening while passing through the standard security lanes. The camera will need to have nothing above or below it, similar to how laptops have already been screened at airports for years now.
The stated goal of this new measure is to give TSA security officers a clearer X-ray image of electronics than if those gadgets are left inside carry-on bags.
“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe,” says acting TSA administrator Huban A. Gowadia. “By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”
“It is possible that passengers may experience more bag checks,” the TSA says, “however, through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags.
There’s no change to what can be brought through checkpoints, so you’ll be able to still carry the same camera equipment onto your flight. Also, if you are enrolled in TSA’s PreCheck program, you won’t be required to remove cameras and other electronics from your bag.
The TSA has already tested this new security plan at 10 airports across the country, and now the agency is rolling the same measures out to every single U.S. airport over the coming weeks and months.
Image credits: Header illustration based photo by Danjo Paluska