The top security official at the state’s largest airport gave tips today (Wednesday) for those of you who’ll be traveling by airplane during the Thanksgiving holiday. Jay Brainerd, the new director of the Transportation Security Administration at Des moines International Airport, says a new system greeting travelors is a suitcase-screening device. The C-T-X is a new explosive-detection machine that can process passenger baggage faster and more thoroughly. He says it samples bags and “looks all through the bag with the X-ray.” Brainerd admits the airport does not screen cargo that’s carried on those same planes. Cargo’s not considered luggage, and the airlines themselves are responsible for screening it, though he says the airport will offer them help in screening their cargo that comes through the terminal. Brainerd says airport screeners don’t like to see delays, but they’re caused when people disregard rules about what can be taken on a flight. Anytime someone comes through with a prohibited item or one classified as deadly or dangerous, it takes time for workers to process the item and file a security report, taking them away from the checkpoint and slowing the line for other travelers waiting there. Brainerd spread out a display for reporters to show a whole table-top littered with scissors, pocketknives, corkscrews, wrenches, hunting knives, screwdrivers, even a pellet gun to demonstrate items people have tried to carry onto planes although they’re forbidden. He says any knives, clubs, billjacks or heavy tools are prohibated. Brainerd says the T-S-A has a website, www-dot-tsa-dot-gov, that you can check for lists of what it allowed. Find the link labeled “Traveler’s Tips” for a list of items that are prohibited items on a plane, and those you can’t have in your possession or a carry-on bag at the passenger-screening checkpoint. Brainerd explains there are a lot of items you can pack in a checked suitcase even if it’s banned from your carry-on luggage. In addition to Des Moines, Iowa has commercial-service airports in Sioux City, Burlington, Fort Dodge, Cedar Rapids, Mason City, Waterloo, Dubuque, Omaha’s Eppley Airfield across the Missouri in Nebraska, and the Quad Cities airport on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.
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