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Baggage screening improvements in the works?

If proponents in Congress get their way, you could be seeing an improved baggage screening process in the near future. USA Today reports that approximately $7 billion has been proposed for new technology that screens bags 10 times faster than current machinery.

The technology, called in-line screening, will consist of conveyor belts with built-in bomb detectors. The belts will transport bags from point to point, starting at check-in, reducing the need for "less-reliable methods" such as hand searches and dog squads.

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Several airports have already adopted in-line screening. If this legislation is passed, the proposed budget would enable 10 additional airports to add the system in 2008.

Baggage screening is currently one of the most vulnerable parts of airport security, now that more people are checking bags due to recent carry-on restrictions. This new screening technology, if implemented, could lead to an improved air travel experience. And unlike such controversial proposals such as strip-search X-ray screening, this one may leave everyone feeling safe, secure—and not violated.

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