If You're a Filmmaker, You May Not Like the TSA's New Airport Screening Protocol

If you're traveling with camera gear, expect your next trip through airport security to be more time consuming.

Other than long layovers and cancelled flights, going through security is the most annoying thing about being in an airport, and now it's about to get even more so. The TSA announced Wednesday that they have plans to raise airport security with brand new domestic screening procedures targeting electronic carry-on items.

These stronger security measures will require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone inside bins for X-ray screening. This is the same exact protocol the TSA has enforced for electronics like laptops, but these new screenings will include smaller items such as tablets, handheld game consoles, and yes, even cameras. 

TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia says in the press release:

It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.

This new protocol has been tested in the 10 U.S. airports listed below, but the TSA plans to expand to all airports in the coming weeks and months.

  • Boise Airport (BOI)
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) 
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

So, unless you're traveling to or from one of the airports listed above, you're saved from the inconvenience of unpacking your camera bag—for now.

To learn more about the TSA's new security measures, click here    

Your Comment


A non issue if you have TSA PreCheck. Worth every penny.
Example, I flew today and my backpack had a DSLR, 2 lenses, laptop, tripod, gopro, two external batteries, camera batteries, lots of cables, and other camera hardware. Got to security and took nothing out, left my shoes on and walked through without any problems. Money well spent. $85 for 5 years ($17 a year) why would you not?

July 28, 2017 at 6:38PM


Mitch, I am a naturalized US citizen so the "Government" already had my fingerprints on file. The only thing I feel I gave up was long lines at the airport. :)

July 29, 2017 at 5:53PM


I get why this is worth it on a pragmatic level, but it's undeniably still the government stealing money from you for rights that you should already have. If security was out of the hands of the government and in the hands of the airlines, I guarantee you it would operate far smoother and quicker.

July 30, 2017 at 6:09PM

David West

You're kidding, right, about the airlines doing a better job to make travel smoother and quicker?

August 4, 2017 at 9:46PM


"If security was out of the hands of the government and in the hands of the airlines"

No, if security WERE in the hands of the airlines, you can be sure it would be just another opportunity to dick you over with fees.

August 5, 2017 at 2:25AM

David Gurney

Flew through Boston just this last Tuesday, and they already had it in place. Was slightly annoying but not overbearingly so. Granted, I travel with minimal camera equipment, but I'd point out that they didn't make me take my drone out of it's case. So that's a plus.

July 28, 2017 at 7:34PM


They tried this ludicrous procedure in Las Vegas a couple months ago. It caused so many problems that it only lasted a few days.

July 29, 2017 at 12:18PM

Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor

Mitch.....seriously? ... you really believe fingerprints "gives up" part of your civil rights.... LMAO ... grow up dude

July 30, 2017 at 6:35AM, Edited July 30, 6:34AM


This is why I use a Pelican case and just check my equipment. Even if my bag gets wet, air pressure, and they stack huge items on my equipment... I can be calm and sure that my equipment is safe.

August 1, 2017 at 11:53AM

Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor

Might never arrive. Misplaced. Opened. Whatever happens to checked bags. Quite a bit.

August 4, 2017 at 2:33PM

Alec Kinnear
Creative Director

No. It can't be locked, so it can be opened and stolen. Duh.

August 5, 2017 at 2:29AM

David Gurney

These morons need to get their stories straight.

Just as they've decided to let people leave iPads and similar devices in their bags and only remove full laptops, they reverse it and go further the other way? Retarded.

Remember when they'd bark at you if you didn't have your boarding pass in your hand when you went through the metal detector, and then that suddenly went away? Or when they confiscated tweezers, but you could carry two 750-ml glass bottles of wine onto the plane?

Yeah, that's what your billions of "security fees" are paying for.

August 5, 2017 at 2:28AM

David Gurney

TSA precheck is worth every penny. And unless you have never had a job, never went to school, never flown on an AIRPLANE, never payed taxes, were born in a field, and have always lived under a bridge; you are on the grid and the government knows who you are so get over it. My partner and I get through security 50-75% faster than the crew that doesn't have precheck even when our bags are pulled for extra screening. It just makes business sense.

August 5, 2017 at 10:00AM, Edited August 5, 10:00AM