CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The next time you fly out of Buffalo Niagara International, be prepared to do things a little differently when you’re going through the TSA screening area. New procedures are now in effect.
One of the biggest changes now requires passengers to remove their cell phones and other electronic devices from their bags. Those electronics have to be placed in a separate bin for screening through the x-ray machine.
“We need all electronics the size of a cell phone or larger placed separately in a bin — nothing on top or below — like iPads, Kindles, even children’s electronics like the Leapsters and other things that the children have,” explained TSA Training Instructor Karen Murphy.
TSA reps demonstrated all of the new procedures during an event at Buffalo Niagara International on Thursday morning, showing how the changes will help them better see everything passengers are trying to take on planes, while helping declutter bags for easier screening.
Now, passengers will be required to place bags directly on the belt to go through the X-ray machine. Shoes will also go directly on the belt instead of in a bin.
Laptops still need to be removed from bags and placed in bins by themselves. No paper or cords can be above or below your computer as it goes through the scanner.
TSA officers in some cases may also ask you to remove denser items, like thick books, from your bags for easier screening.
All of this, TSA leaders say, is important for everyone’s safety. “Terrorists are out there. They’re evolving, they’re dedicated, they’re determined, and so is TSA,” said Bart Johnson, federal security director for TSA. “We’re determined to stay ahead of the threat, evolve to the threat, meet the threat head on, and make sure that the traveling public gets there not only safely, but also there on time.”
Johnson says the new procedures may cause a few small delays as people get used to the changes. TSA officers will be stationed in front of the x-ray machines to talk the traveling public through the new processes and help streamline the experience.
Travelers are urged to arrive at the airport 90 minutes before their scheduled departure to make sure they can get through security and onto their planes on time.