Houston Airports wants travelers to be aware of the TSA checkpoint screening procedures at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).


TSA Screening

Advanced Imaging Technology

Houston was selected as one of the first airports to introduce a new technology known as “Advanced Imaging Technology” (AIT).

When you arrive at a checkpoint where AIT is in operation, TSA staff will ask you to enter the unit with your feet slightly spread apart and your arms raised overhead. While you are in this specified position, a scan of your image allows TSA staff to better detect threats such as weapons, explosives or other objects, which may be concealed under layers of clothing.

Generally, passengers undergoing screening will have the opportunity to decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening. However, some passengers will be required to undergo AIT screening if their boarding pass indicates that they have been selected for enhanced screening, in accordance with TSA regulations, prior to their arrival at the security checkpoint. This will occur in a very limited number of circumstances. The vast majority of passengers will not be affected.

TSA Enhanced Pat-Downs

TSA began a new security screening technique that is more thorough as an enhanced pat down.

The enhanced pat-down may be performed by TSA agents on a random basis or when someone prefers to have a “pat-down,” rather than being scanned in the AIT or full body scanner.

Either way, if a TSA agent indicates that an enhanced pat-down is required, they will use their hands to check a passenger, rather than using the metal-detecting wand to inspect the passenger from head to toe to check for threats such as weapons, explosives or other objects which may be concealed under layers of clothing. When a TSA agent performs this procedure, they will explain in advance the steps they will take. The traveling public always has the option to ask for a private screening should a person not want to have this measure done in a public place.

TSA offers a “modified pat-down” for children 12-years-old and under who require the additional screening.

For more information, go to

3-1-1 Liquids Rule

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

For travel tips and a complete list of items prohibited from carry-on or checked baggage, visit or call the Contact Center toll-free at 1-866-289-9673.


You may call the TSA Contact Center at (866) 289-9673 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday, or between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. (ET) on weekends and holidays, email us at or submit a form online at

Security Checkpoint
5 mins
Terminal Approx. Wait
* TSA Pre√ queues at Terminal A North
** Clear queues at Terminal A South
*** United reserves its Terminal C North checkpoint for TSA Pre✓™, Premier Access and Global Services passengers.