New (as of 2019) airport CT scanners

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Agulliver

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Large, circular machine sounds like it's definitely a CT scanner.

It's certainly true that many airports are in a process of moving towards using CT scanners for cabin bags in the future and some currently have some CT scanners and some regular X-ray scanners. For example I am told that LHR started using CT scanners in 2019 or 2020 but when I went through there in October 2022 I didn't see any. Might depend which terminal one uses.

For the vast majority of passengers the CT scanners will be a convenience and will speed up security scanning. We film photographers just need to take care.
 

pentaxuser

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That's not what he said, if you read carefully. Generally carry-on baggage isn't scanned on arrival.

AMS has indeed transitioned to CT scanners; at least partly and by now probably completely, given the massive logistical issues at that airport lately and the advantages the CT scanners have in this respect.

Thanks He hasn't replied as yet but it sounds as if I should have read it more carefully and you are right that he wasn't scanned at Amsterdam and we now can't be sure if it was an old scanner or a new CT scanner in Oregon so unfortunately dutchsteamachine's experience may not be an experience that tells us anything about a CT scanner's effect on film

pentaxuser
 
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Yeah the carry on scanners at PDX were probably X-Ray, the long metal rectangle tubes. Also any "large electronics" had to be put in a separated case from the bags, CT doesnt need that.

Don't know about the checked luggage scanners, haven't seen them.

I and my friend were pretty scared to send 15 super 8 cartridges to Pro8MM through FedEx or USPS, neither had the Do not X-ray stickers or knew what it was about. Very frustrating. We got some stickers from a camera store, but they were about video tape.
So we had to send them out from Oregon without any special markings. Thankfully all came out right.
 

ymc226

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Thanks, people. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not bring my film camera. It feels so much like rolling the dice. I'll have to make up my mind soon, though, as I'll be leaving this weekend.

I was planning on taking a film camera on my planned visit to Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo but the similar themed post on LUF stated those airports (both in Tokyo) do not allow hand checking of film. As such I am waving the white flag and will go digital. Don't want to risk the 30 or so rolls that I anticipate using.
 

Agulliver

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I'll be curious to hear about info regarding Tokyo as I'm planning to go there in 2025.

As far as I am aware, all checked bag scanners in anything like developed countries have been CT for more than 20 years.....the British and major European airports certainly for much longer than that.

I've just read that this very month, April 2023, London City Airport became the first in the UK to entirely scrap the 100ml rule for liquids. This means that they now must have 100% CT scanners for hand baggage. They are, however, a small airport. I think the major London and other major UK airports are either still X-ray or in a process of moving to CT. The prime minister has said something about all civil airports moving to CT scanning in the next few years so one can assume there's a process of "upgrading". As long as hand inspection is permitted, it's not going to be an issue. Countries/airports where that is not permitted will pose a risk to film.
 

Garb

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I fly out of Tokyo all the time. In Haneda, they say laptops do not need to be removed from luggage. I don't know if that means it's a newer type scanner. In Narita, laptops do have to come out. At both airports, and any airports within Japan, they have always agreed to do a hand-check of roll film (they call in "open check"). Never tried sheet film. Sometimes they just look at it and let it through, sometimes they inspect each film. Sometimes they swab them. They will take 35mm out of the cases so I just take them out of cases ahead of time. If you need to do a hand-check of a camera, they will ask you to take a photo so you may waste one exposure. I suppose unless you take a very dark exposure and don't advance the film.

I have also sent film out via EMS to the US for development and have not noticed any issues, even though they say it will be xrayed.
 

Garb

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Documenting recent airport experiences here, not about scanner technology, but about whether hand-checks are provided:

Singapore / Bali: Asked for hand checks of roll film and it was always accepted, even if at first confused / not understanding why. Bali also xrays baggage upon arrival at customs. I just walked past with the film in my hand instead of in the baggage and no one said anything.

Colombia: Asked for hand checks of roll film and it was always accepted, but some of the operators did not know why I was asking and needed to call over the supervisor. In Bogota, some angry-looking dude with a uniform and a big gun walked over and took a photo of my passport and of the bag of film (to try to scare me?) but otherwise they let me through without scanning the film.

I don't recall if they swabbed / inspected each roll, or just looked at the bag at let it through.

Hong Kong: Asked for a hand check and the woman said okay but as I was about to walk away, she tried to slip my film back onto the tray to go through the xray. I noticed and asked again to hand check and she complied.

Bangladesh / Dhaka: The airport is unusual in that there is one security checkpoint at the entrance (before the check-in counters, and they are military/police and armed) and again just before you board (normal people, not armed). At the first scanner, the dude refused to hand-check saying it must go through. I told him it will get destroyed, he escalated to the supervisor, the supervisor said it must go through. I was persistent and asked again and they compiled (probably realizing it'll be faster to hand-check than to argue). At the second checkpoint, they again initially refused, but when I explain it was film, the dude got really excited because it reminded him of the past and he didn't know people still use film. He gladly hand-checked it.

LAX: Allowed hand scan but the dude inspecting the film very thoroughly and swabbed, taking the 120 film out of the packaging and inspecting it from the outside to ensure it really is a roll of film, even doing a double-take on some the rolls when inspecting the bottom.
 

MattKing

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Thread title made more clear.
Better late than never! 😉
 

Agulliver

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I am told by someone who used LTN (London Luton) last month that it still has the old X-ray scanners that are safe for film.

I shall find out myself on Saturday and report back regarding LTN and ACE (Arrecife, Lanzarote)
 

Garb

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I am traveling through AUH (Abu Dhabi) and CAI (Cairo, Egypt) airports later this month. Anyone happen to know if they honor requests to hand-check film? Or will insist it go through the scanner?
 

Agulliver

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Here is a report on the status of CT scanners in UK airports which has now been delayed for a target of full implementation till 2025 from June 2024 and originally 2022. Costs and staff shortages cited.


It's not always clear cut because some of the scanners at LHR *are* the new CT scanners and some are not. Like other airports, the upgrade won't take place overnight and we currently face a situation where some terminals might have one type of scanner, and other terminals a different type. Or even within a terminal, some security lines might have CT scanners and some not.

Best thing to do flying from the UK is to print out that letter from the DfT and keep your eyes out when you get to security, to see what kind of scanners they have. If they look like CT scanners and if passengers are not requested to remove laptops (and similar) and If you suspect CT, request a hand inspection of your films. Use the hard copy of the letter for backup if necessary.

I've got my film ready for my trip tomorrow, in a zip-lock type bag. two rolls of Fomapan R100 8mm film, two FP4+, one Ferrania P30, two Ektar and one Fuji Superia 400. That'll see me through the week, I think. All in a sealed bag which will be in my hand baggage (which is basically my camera bag anyway)....easy to remove if I feel it's necessary. Easy to hand over in one piece to a security officer who can then inspect/swab as they see fit. I just need to remember to wash my hands well at work today because I am working with explosives pre-cursors.

It also *amazes* me that every damned time I fly, there are people who are utterly clueless about what they can and cannot take aboard. It's been over fifteen years. It's on every site you book tickets with. It's plastered all over every airport. It isn't even difficult to comply. Yet there's always someone holding up the line because they *need* that bottle of something they could just as easily buy after security.
 
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Steve Goldstein

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The security checkpoint at Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) in Colorado has four Analogic CT scanners. You’ll want to request a hand check for film.
 

wiltw

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The security checkpoint at Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) in Colorado has four Analogic CT scanners. You’ll want to request a hand check for film.

Interesting that a regional airport has four CT security scanners, while much larger airports with bigger passenger volume have X-ray at some terminals and CT at other terminals! :wondering:
 

GRHazelton

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We flew out of Pittsburgh PA on Monday Feb 4. A prominent sign said that film over ASA 800 might be damaged, IIRC. Since I was shooting digital I didn't worry. The security folks were very pleasant, unlike some other airports we've experienced.
BTW, at the Atlanta airport the Known Traveler number is worth its cost to avoid the LONG line at security. The Known Traveler lines are MUCH shorter.
 

fophem

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I fly out of Tokyo all the time. In Haneda, they say laptops do not need to be removed from luggage. I don't know if that means it's a newer type scanner. In Narita, laptops do have to come out. At both airports, and any airports within Japan, they have always agreed to do a hand-check of roll film (they call in "open check"). Never tried sheet film. Sometimes they just look at it and let it through, sometimes they inspect each film. Sometimes they swab them. They will take 35mm out of the cases so I just take them out of cases ahead of time. If you need to do a hand-check of a camera, they will ask you to take a photo so you may waste one exposure. I suppose unless you take a very dark exposure and don't advance the film.

I have also sent film out via EMS to the US for development and have not noticed any issues, even though they say it will be xrayed.

Yes, they do have those new scanners in Haneda. They are very comprehensive and seems to know the problems with films. I've never had any trouble to make them hand-check my films. I've once had a film inside my camera who went through the scanner, after processing it showed a faint fogging. (400iso HP5)
 
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MFstooges

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As of Feb '24
Istanbul Havalimani staffs refused to hand check and just pointed at the x-ray machine label where it says 'film safe'
Muscat Oman airport staffs also refused to hand check
 

Agulliver

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London Luton (LTN) still seems to be all regular X-ray machines, there's nothing changed there in some years.

Arrecife Cesar Manrique Lanzarote (ACE) - As far as I could tell all old X-ray machines with "film safe" stickers on them. One X-ray machine was larger than the others, for larger items. I risked putting my films through that specific machine. I've developed a roll of Ilford Ortho Plus 80 with zero issues so I assume that machine is also traditional X-rays and not CT.

TLDR - LTN and ACE appear to be film safe as of late February 2024
 

fophem

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Just came back from Munich . They have new scanners. I had a film loaded in a camera, they accepted to check it through a regular weaker scanner. They were friendly and comprehensive (maybe the well known German brand of my camera helped 😁)
 

mrosenlof

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I was in Japan late last year. At Kansai Airport KIX, on the way home they insisted on scanning my film, 20 rolls of TMAX 400, 120. It was a CT scanner, I didn't argue. I have looked very closely at those negs and see no ill effect. I don't own a densitometer, so haven't examined in *that* detail. Normally I have gotten hand checks with no problem in Japan.

They also measured the length of my tripod and then let it through, and checked the size of my 75ml toothpaste. I didn't ask what the tripod limit is, I'm guessing it's 100ml for the toothpaste, like other liquids. For inside the US, tripods are explicitly OK on the TSA website.
 

fophem

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I had the same kind of experience in KIX. Not with a tripod but with a cymbal stand. The maximum length is apparently 60cm.
 

wiltw

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Oh - the film that I plan on bringing (if I do decide to bring film) will be all Tri-X, (with maybe a couple of rolls of slower film thorwn in).

And if the gate Security is using CT scanners for carry-on luggage at that particular area, the film speed will not matter much (while ISO 400 is safe for multiple passes in x-ray security used at gate Security, it is not inherently safe for CT)
 
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