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TSA implementing new security technology at Santa Barbara Airport


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The Transportation Security Administration implemented new security technology at the Santa Barbara airport on Wednesday morning.

TSA installed a Credential Authentication Technology, or CAT, and a computer tomography, or CT, scanner for the holiday travel period.

The CAT will assist TSA with the travel document checking process. TSA officers can insert a traveler's photo ID into the CAT unit and the CAT will scan the photo ID and confirm the traveler's identity on screen. The CAT is also linked to the Secure Flight database which will verify that the traveler is ticketed. The CAT will also display the pre-screening status without a boarding pass. The CAT will reduce boarding pass and document fraud.

The CT scanner will be used to screen travelers' carry-on luggage at checkpoint. The CT scan generates a 3D image of the items in the bags. A TSA officer will be able to manipulate the 3D x-ray image to allow for a better view of the bag's contents. This will reduce the long checks where TSA officers have to open and shuffle through traveler's belongings. The CT scanner will allow travelers to leave their items in their bags including electronics and food.

During this holiday travel period, TSA anticipates an average of 90 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic volumes.

“TSA officers will be working throughout the holiday travel season to deliver the most effective security in the most efficient manner. However, there is no substitute for passenger preparation for the airport screening process,” said TSA Federal Security Director for SBA Anita Minaei. “We highly recommend that before leaving for the airport, travelers take a few minutes to closely examine what they are packing in their carry-on bags. This simple step will help ensure that prohibited items are left at home, or placed in checked luggage for transport.”

They say the busiest days will be December 17, 22 and 23. They project that January 3 will be busy as well as the holiday season wraps up and people returning home from their trips. The busiest times of day at the SBA security checkpoints will be from 4:15 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. to noon.

SBA asks travelers to continue traveling safely during the pandemic by wearing their masks and packing smart.

For more information on travel safety at Santa Barbara Airport, click here.

Julia Nguyen

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