BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) is advising travelers to arrive extra early for flights while new security is added.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is installing new computed tomography (CT) X-ray scanners in TRI.
The two new scanners are used to screen carry-on luggage without passengers needing to remove electronic devices, including those larger than a cellphone. The CT scanners use an algorithm to create a 3-D image of the items stored inside bags.
While the scanners are being installed, TRI officials ask that passengers arrive two hours ahead of their flight due TSA only being able to operate one security checkpoint at a time. The airport also reports there is a learning curve to using the scanners, which could account for some delays getting through security.
TRI President Gene Cossey asked travelers to be patient while TSA employees adjust to the new technology.
“They’re going to be real careful, really meticulous to make sure everybody really knows exactly what they’re doing with these machines and how to operate them,” Cossey said. “They’re going to slow themselves down and take a little extra time, which is good for all of us, right? Because we want it to be a safe and secure experience for everyone.”
The scanners’ X-ray tunnels are smaller than the previously used ones so not all larger carry-ons will fit, the airport noted in a release.
TRI expects the installation period to last until May 5.