Monday, July 7, 2008

Checkpoint-Friendly laptop PC bags

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is working on a program for "checkpoint friendly" cases that would allow travelers to pass through airport security without unpacking laptop computers.

After issuing a request for information from case manufacturers, TSA received 52 design proposals. The agency is evaluating the designs and will add to the list of criteria it provided. Companies will then have 90 days to submit prototype designs for testing.

The TSA will not formally certify any of the cases, but will offer feedback to the companies that submit prototypes.

The agency said, "The TSA requirement to remove the laptop from the computer bag is a common complaint heard by TSA. If TSA was able to eliminate this requirement, it could lower passenger stress levels, increase checkpoint throughput and reduce the number of claims TSA receives for laptops that have been damaged during screening."

The basic criteria for the bag designs are:

  • The bag and laptop can be viewed in a single x-ray image and the image shall not be degraded by the materials used in the bag design.
  • No straps, pockets, zippers, handles or closures can interfere with the image of the laptop.
  • The bag has distinguishing and self-evident features that allow the TSA to identify that the laptop does not need to be removed. These features would include the physical design characteristics of the bag itself and not symbols or labeling.

  • Approved bags could be available as early as the fourth quarter. (info from TWICE, photo from BusinessWeek)

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