An airport 3-D scanning trial started in the United States could lead to shorter security lines.

American Airlines and Analogic Corporation have announced a joint partnership that will expand the use of Computed tomography (CT) technology at airports worldwide.

The airline began demonstrating CT technology in a checkpoint lane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport earlier this month.

This was the first time ever that CT technology was deployed to screen carry-on bags.

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The technology could allow passengers to leave liquids, gels and aerosols, as well as laptops, in their carry-on bags at all times. This would result in less emptying of bags into bins and therefore quicker processing.

The new CT screening equipment shoots hundreds of images with an X-ray camera that spins around the conveyor belt to provide officers with a picture of a carry-on bag and applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of banned items.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now assessing the technology.

"This technology provides officials with scanning equipment that more clearly identifies potential threat items, including those concealed within personal electronic devices."

Kerry Philipovitch, American Airlines' senior vice president of customer experience, said the airline belived in risk-based, intelligence-driven security protocols, which enabled the aviation industry to identify, manage and mitigate risk.

According to CNBC, American Airlines will spend US$6 million on the 3-D scanners at eight US airports. CT technology is also going through the European Civil Aviation Conference certification process.