TSA explains how they detect unsafe luggage

TSA explains how they detect unsafe luggage (Image 1)

Travelers check up to as many as 10,000 bags a day into Nashville International Airport’s baggage handling system.

Of that number, only a small percentage of luggage goes through special screening.

“This area is called the checked baggage inspection station. Where our explosive detection system and TSA screening machines are located,” explained Ken Meyer, the Assistant Federal Security Director of Screening for the TSA.

On Friday, TSA workers gave News 2 a tour of the explosive detection system to show travelers what happens behind the scenes while traveling at BNA.

The explosive detection system can analyze up to 550 bags per hour.

If the luggage is deemed safe, it heads directly to the airline baggage area and onto your flight.

If there is concern, the bag then travels on what is called the alarm line.

“At that point, it is in Level 2 screening mode, which gives our folks in a remote location the ability to clear it on screen,” said Meyer.

After that, if there is still concern, the luggage travels to Level 3 screening.

It is called the baggage inspection room for a final determination.

The entire process happens in about 10 minutes.

“The bag will almost always make it to the airline baggage make up area before the individual makes it to the gate,” said Meyer.

TSA agents said of the thousands of pieces of luggage that travel through BNA, only a small percentage require special screening.

“TSA’s mission is to secure the airways for passengers. We are going to continue to look at ways to provide the most security for passengers,” said Mark Howell, a TSA spokesperson.

The TSA was created in the wake of September 11, 2001 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems.

The TSA employees about 50,000 officers who screen about 1.8 million travelers every day.

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