Scanners to replace x-ray machines at Atlanta GA airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta is Georgia's biggest economic engine.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta is Georgia’s biggest economic engine.


Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to spend $55 million to replace x-ray machines at the main security checkpoint with more advanced scanners to screen hand luggage.

New computed tomography (CT) scans will generate higher quality images for security checkers and could reduce congestion in security queues, according to Hartsfield-Jackson.

While X-ray machines generate 2D images of bags, CT technology can create 3D images that can be rotated and viewed from different angles. It can also detect explosives, including liquid explosives. The technology should eventually allow travelers to keep their authorized liquids and laptops inside their bags during screening.

The new equipment at the main security checkpoint will be similar to the machines in the corridors of the TSA PreCheck South Checkpoint with automatic bin return.

Installation is expected to begin in October, according to the Transportation Security Administration. This will be done in phases, with airport officials closing four lanes at a time. Each phase should last about four months. It could take 18 months to two years to complete the job, depending on the airport. It remains to be seen how this will affect wait times.

When airport officials closed the southern checkpoint to install new screening equipment several years ago, they were sometimes criticized for long queues with wait times of More than an hour.

The Atlanta City Council awarded the contract to New South Construction and Synergy Development Partners. Operating as a joint venture, the companies will also replace CCTV cameras, upgrade lighting and modify the electrical and mechanical systems of CT machines.

This is a special supply contract, which means it was not competitively tendered like other contracts. Indeed, the New South/Synergy joint venture, which installed the equipment at the airport’s southern checkpoint, is the only contractor in the United States to have built a fully functional checkpoint in this configuration, according to a memo. of the city’s purchasing manager, Martin. Clarke.

Atlanta Airport pays for the CT scanners and then hands them over to the TSA for agency use. The TSA will be responsible for operating and maintenance costs.

At some other airports, the TSA pays for new CT scanners. Earlier this month, the agency announced it would spend $781.2 million to deploy CT systems at airports. somewhere else. Last year, the TSA paid $198 million for the CT systems.

Atlanta airport officials “identified an urgent need to upgrade” security equipment at the main checkpoint to upgrade technology, improve security, reduce congestion and improve the passenger experience, according to city documentation.

Six years ago, Delta Air Lines paid $1 million for equipment at the southern security post near its check-in counters.

In 2020, Hartsfield-Jackson spent $37.4 million to expand the southern checkpoint with more automated routes. This facility was completed during the pandemic when the number of passengers decreased considerably.

This story comes from our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more news and events in Metro Atlanta and Georgia, visit

This story was originally published April 9, 2022 6:50 a.m.

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