'Please remove your laptop' may go away

July 7, 2008 at 9:20 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- Removing laptop computers from their cases at U.S. airport security checkpoints may end soon, as federal inspectors finalize details easing the restriction.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration could begin allowing some passengers to keep laptops in their cases at airport checkpoints as early as August, USA Today reported. Critical to one of the most visible changes in airport security in years is a "checkpoint-friendly" case that allows a clear X-ray image of laptops, unhampered by zippers, straps, buckles and wires.

The TSA tested prototypes this spring and told manufacturers checkpoint-friendly cases should have sleeves that hold only a laptop.

"This is industry-changing. It's like putting wheels on luggage," said Steve Dayton, president of CODi, one of several companies designing checkpoint-friendly cases.

The TSA won't certify laptop cases and barred companies from using its name or logo for marketing, agency spokeswoman Sterling Payne told USA Today.

The lack of TSA certification could mean some companies declare their cases checkpoint-friendly without modifications providing clear X-ray images, Michael Hess, president of Skooba Design, told USA Today. If checkpoint personnel can't clearly see a laptop, it's set aside for further examination.

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