March 7, 2008
Air travelers who fly with their laptops in tow are hoping TSA's latest appeal to private sector innovators will mean one less thing they have to remember to do at airport security checkpoints. TSA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to bag designers and manufacturers to develop a unique laptop carrying case that will allow travelers to keep their PCs in their bags during screening.
TSA provided vendors with some design requirements, noting the materials that make up the bag cannot degrade the quality of the X-ray image of the laptop and interested companies have until mid-April to submit their best concepts. Those companies selected by TSA will have until the end of May to submit prototype laptop cases that TSA can run through the screening process to see if the images meet security requirements.
The goal of this "TSA recognized" laptop bag would be to enhance the security process by eliminating one screening requirement at the checkpoint, thereby lowering travelers' stress levels and reducing the number of claims for lost or damaged laptops. TSA administrator Kip Hawley commented, "This is yet another example of TSA partnering with the private sector to find innovative ways to simplify things for air travelers. It also speaks to Secretary Chertoff's desire to evaluate the screening system and make some changes that will decrease some of the burden without compromising security."
TSA Goes Bag Shopping