If you plan on flying through Kansas City International Airport (KCI), you might have to take a few extra steps when handling your electronics.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Spokesman Mark Howell said that KCI will be complying with new security measures regarding electronics in carry-on luggage.
“Recently here in Kansas City and across the nation we are rolling out new security measures that require you to take your electronics larger than a cell phone from your bag,” Howell.
Howell said the new screenings process, like all other airport screening procedures, is in response to threats made towards aviation travel around the world.
“Nothing is arbitrary. The shoes tie back to the shoe bomb plot; the liquid limits, to a liquid plot;the machinery and the technology we have in the checkpoint is all rooted in these threats as well. Everything we do has a real world connection to it,” Howell said.
Transportation Security Specialist and Explosions Specialist Trent Ryberg said the change is a proactive step to help them stay ahead of security threats made towards travelers.
“I’m always trying to think, and I know all the other explosion specialists are trying to think ahead to what the next threat would be, so we can try to train the screeners to counter that threat,” Ryberg said.
The new rule will require any device larger than a cell phone to be removed from carry on luggage and placed in a separate bin for screening.
“The video game systems, bluetooth speakers, anything that is larger than a cellphone that people are traveling with in their carry on bag will need to be removed and placed in a separate bin for screening,” Howell said.
The separate electronic screening only applies to those going through standard screening lanes. All TSA Pre-Check program members can leave electronics and liquids in carry on luggage during security checks. Howell said while this could initially be an inconvenience, it will allow the screening process to move more quickly as travelers become more accustomed to the change.
“By removing the electronics and placing them into a separate bin for screening. We are effectively making layers, so we can screen the carry on bag more quickly,” Howell said.
Ryberg said TSA will continue adapting their screening processes to insure the safety of travelers and technology and threats change over time.
“This isn’t the end of it. In a year, two years down the road, they are going to adapt. They [terrorists] are going to say these avenues are blocked to us so we’re going to go down this new avenue. Once we [TSA] have that intel or unfortunately if something happens, then we will adjust and protect in that avenue,” Ryberg said.
While the screening and safety procedures in airports are constantly changing, TSA agents said this will not replace any current safety procedures, but will be enforced in addition to current screening procedures.
“There will always be security, security is number one over efficiency. We are always going to have these things in place and we’re never going to stop doing them, because if we stop doing them what’s to keep them [terrorists] from doing it over again,” Howell said.
Officials at KCI expect all airports to start enforcing this new rule before the start of the summer traveling season.