American Airlines is partnering with the TSA to test a computed tomography (CT) scanner at a checkpoint in Terminal 4 of Phoenix airport.

CT scanners provide security screeners with a 3-D image that can be rotated and viewed for more thorough analysis, American said. The TSA already uses CT scanners with checked baggage, but the Phoenix deployment is its trial run with the technology at a security checkpoint.

The CT equipment shoots hundreds of images with an X-ray camera that spins around the conveyor belt. The system uses algorithms to detect explosives, weapons and other items that are not allowed in carry-on bags.

Such technology could make it possible for the TSA to allow flyers to leave liquids, gels and aerosols, as well as laptops, in their carry-ons, American said.

TSA and American might deploy CT technology at other checkpoints if the pilot test is successful.

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