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New baggage screening equipment at JAX helps protect passengers

Updated system can detect explosives, screen more bags per hour

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just ahead of the busy holiday traveling season, the Transportation Security Administration recently completed the construction of an updated baggage screening system at the Jacksonville International Airport, which allows all checked bags on commercial airplanes to be screened with state-of-the-art explosive detection equipment. 

In an effort to help protect passengers, the equipment uses computed imaging to quickly capture an image of a single bag to ensure it does not contain explosives or other threats to the aircraft.

The new conveyor belt system automatically screens, sorts and tracks 300 more bags per hour, per machine, every day. JAX has several of these machines linked to a centralized room. 

The newly updated system was completed Nov. 15.

While the new system scans checked baggage, TSA officials will continue to closely monitor security checkpoints to make sure travelers do not carried on prohibited items, including guns, bullets, knives and grenades. 

PHOTOS: New baggage screening equipment at JAX helps protect passengers

According to TSA, 32 guns have been retrieved from travelers at JAX this year. 

"We don't have any guns, so it's not an issue we come across. But that seems a little crazy," said traveler Adam Joyce. 

TSA official Sari Koshetz said the number has increased from the 25 guns that were found at JAX last year. She said most travelers give the same excused for carrying the guns. 

"Most of them say they just forget and that's not an acceptable response," Koshetz said. "It's an escalating issue around the country, people bringing firearms to the checkpoint. You cannot bring your gun to the checkpoint."

Within the last couple of weeks, TSA confiscated a cane with a sword inside it. Koshetz urged passengers to leave their weapons or else they'll face possible arrest and fines. 

Koshetz also reminded travelers to arrive early since the terminals will be extra busy during the holidays.

"Every though we have great times here, we want you to leave early. It's better to have extra time than trying to make your flight," Koshetz said. 

TSA also suggests passengers sign up for TSA Pre Check to reduce security wait times. For more information and to apply online, click here.


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