Changes coming in Albany to show small electronics handled by TSA

Should be in effect at all upstate airports by end of month
A TSA checkpoint at Albany International Airport.
A TSA checkpoint at Albany International Airport.

COLONIE — New screening procedures for small electronics are being implemented at Albany International Airport as part of changes being made by the Transportation Security Administration.

Going forward, the TSA will require that all electronic devices larger than a cellphone be placed in bins for X-ray screenings at checkpoints. The change is being made in response to the latest terrorist threat concerns, TSA officials said.

“TSA constantly enhances its security procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats,” said Bart Johnson, TSA federal security director for upstate New York. “The terror threat is real, and TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security.”

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Examples of electronics that will need to be removed from carry-on bags for examination include tablets, e-readers and cameras. Johnson said they should be placed in a bin with nothing on top of them or below them, similar to how laptop computers have been screened for years.

The changes, announced earlier this year, are being phased in nationwide and should be in effect at all upstate airports — including Albany — by the end of October. TSA said wait times at the checkpoints are not expected to change.

Johnson said about 5,000 people a day pass through Albany’s checkpoints, and he estimated 80 percent bring with them electronics that are subject to screening.

“Every traveling business person has a laptop, every person has a cellphone, every teenager has electronic devices,” he said.

The new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck who are using designated lanes. All other rules such as size limits on liquid carry-on containers still apply.

“The most critical thing for the public is that they arrive early and that they know the rules,” Johnson said. “If we ask you to do something, we’re not trying to be difficult. Please comply.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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