Security Travel Tips


Security Screening Checkpoints

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) currently recommends travelers arrive 2 hours before scheduled flights. More information and travel tips are available from the TSA at

State of the Art Security at BWIState of the Art Security at BWI Marshall

BWI Marshall works in close partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure safe travel for all BWI Marshall passengers. In June 2010, the Advanced Imaging Technology or AIT machines became the primary screening tool in use at BWI Marshall’s Concourses A, B and D.

AIT machines are capable of detecting hidden items. AIT provides walk-through imaging which efficiently detects metallic and non-metallic threats, including weapons, explosives and other items that a passenger is carrying on his/her person, without physical contact.

The AIT machines at BWI Marshall are millimeter wave technology which bounces electromagnetic waves off the body to create a black and white three-dimensional image that resembles a fuzzy photo negative. Advanced imaging technology is safe and meets national health and safety standards. The energy projected by the millimeter wave AIT machines is 10,000 times less than a cell phone transmission.

State of the Art Security at BWIThere are strict privacy safeguards in place with the use of AIT machines to protect passenger privacy and ensure anonymity. The AIT produced image of the passenger is never seen by any TSA officer assisting the passenger. The image is viewed in a secure room in a remote location. Cameras, cell phones or photo-enabled devices are not allowed in the room. The TSA officer who views the image never sees the passenger. The officer at the checkpoint and the officer in the remote location communicate by wireless headset. Once the officer viewing the image determines threat items are not present, that officer communicates to the officer assisting the passenger. The passenger may then continue through the security process.

To further protect passenger privacy the millimeter wave technology AIT blurs all facial features and the AIT cannot store, print, transmit or save the image. Each image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer.

To use the AIT machine a passenger walks into the imaging portal. Once inside, they will be asked to stand in different positions and remain still for just a few moments while the machine creates an image of the passenger. Once complete, the passenger will exit the opposite side of the portal.

The AIT screening is optional for all passengers. Passengers who do not wish to utilize this screening will receive an equal level of screening, including a physical pat-down.

AIT machines were first installed at BWI Marshall in April of 2008 and prior to June 2010 had been used for secondary security screening.

For additional information see:TSA Website.

3-1-1 For Carry-Ons

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

Come early and be patient. Heavy travel volumes and the enhanced security process may mean longer lines at security checkpoints.

TSA working with our partners. TSA works with airlines and airports to anticipate peak traffic and be ready for the traveling public.

There are many items that are prohibited, some in carry-on and some in carry-on and checked baggage. For details about the new security procedures and timesaving tips visit the TSA Website.