Flying with scanners

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chaseboyer

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I'll be flying for work on Sunday, this is my first time possibly flying with my scanner (BCD436). Has anyone ever had any problems with TSA regarding your scanner? If I take it with me, it will be in my backpack, antenna off through TSA and during flight. I live in Texas, if that matters at all.


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ofd8001

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I'd suggest a call to the TSA folks at your local airport. From what I understand, however, the final decision is up to the TSA folks at the gate when you get there.
 

wx5uif

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I've taken scanners and Motorola xpr7550 probably 100 times through checkpoints that last couple years with no issues.
 

KR3LC

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I do it all the time. In my backpack. Sometimes with the antenna installed and sometimes not. I also travel with a ham HT. For years with no problems in the US. I travel frequently between Baltimore and Austin, TX and Oakland, CA.


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chaseboyer

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Also note I am not amateur radio licensed yet, could this have any effect on them letting me fly with a scanner or not?


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I too have had no problems with TSA and scanners as Ive taken both Baofeng radios and Uniden scanners through before, again with no problems :)
 

oracavon

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The one time I carried one through a checkpoint, they merely asked me to turn in on so they could verify that it actually was a scanner and not something bad disguised as a scanner. Took all of 5 seconds, no problem.
 

AA6IO

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Never had any real problems when asked about a scanner or portable amateur radio in my travels in USA, to Japan, to Europe. In Israel, where I brought an IC-R20 and small Grundig radio several years ago, they asked going into and out of country. I told them, no more questions, no asking to turn on.
I do always carry my amateur license just in case, however.
 

Aero125

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The TSA doesn't know or care the difference between a scanner, an amateur radio, an FM receiver, or any other device. They all are considered electronic devices that fall under the same category for security purposes and are treated as such. At most they may have the passenger power up the device to prove it isn't something harmful.
 

ecps92

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++1
or subject the equipment to the swab scan :cool:

As pointed out in Post #2 http://forums.radioreference.com/new-user-getting-started-forum/319927-can-fly-my-scanner-carry-bag.html and there are liklely many more similar threads...
The TSA doesn't know or care the difference between a scanner, an amateur radio, an FM receiver, or any other device. They all are considered electronic devices that fall under the same category for security purposes and are treated as such. At most they may have the passenger power up the device to prove it isn't something harmful.
 

riccom

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I used to carry a pager and when i was going though a check point, they asked to push the squelch button to show it was not a gun .
Sounds kinda stupid but hey i am ok with that

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ko6jw_2

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I agree will everything above and I carry HT's and scanners all the time - even overseas. One caveat, do not operate the radio on the plane. This is not allowed except with the pilot's permission. On private planes you can do it, but don't even ask on a commercial flight.
 

Rred

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Chase, a scanner is just a radio receiver. Regulated solely by the FCC, who generally say that's unregulated. No airline and no government agency has any prohibitions against any kind of radio receivers in general, although like all "electronic devices" the airline doesn't want it used below 10,000 feet. And many DMV's restrict the use of them in cars. (They're regulating the driving of cars, not the use of radios, as their justification. Or invoking the "police powers of the state" with that.)

Remember, if the nice clerk asks whether you are carrying any weapons, you must surrender your shoelaces and ball point pens. Among other things. Oh, and if the scanner is long and heavy, it can be banned as a "cudgel".

Have fun on your flight!
 

ko6jw_2

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Remember that radios, unlike computers etc. are not allowed to be operated in flight. This is a rule that individual airlines impose, not the TSA or the FCC. Don't push it because you could be put off the plane and failure to obey an order from a member of the flight crew is a violation of federal law. This issue has been discussed in other threads. Some RR members take the attitude that they can do whatever they want. Recently airlines have removed passengers for taking photos or videos in flight. It's their plane and they make the rules. Besides you won't hear very much inside the plane anyway.
 

kma371

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Chase, a scanner is just a radio receiver. Regulated solely by the FCC, who generally say that's unregulated. No airline and no government agency has any prohibitions against any kind of radio receivers in general, although like all "electronic devices" the airline doesn't want it used below 10,000 feet
Not true

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/inflight/devices.aspx

Devices that are NOT permitted for use:
personal air-purifying devices (battery-operated and plug-in)
electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers
personal humidifiers (battery-operated and plug-in)
heating devices, such as blow dryers, bottle warmers and curling irons
TVs
radio receivers and transmitters
remote-control toys


There are several airlines which have the same regulation.

Anyway this is getting off topic. Nothing would prevent him from carrying this item in his carry on. Worst case scenario, he has toput it in his checked bag.
 

Rred

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I'd forgotten, some airlines still have the old prohibition against receivers because the classic "superheterodyne" receivers all actually broadcast a signal, so they are transmitters by virtue of their leakage.

Policy will vary by carrier, to be sure. And by the pilot and crew discretion.

I wonder if a smartphone with an FM radio in it should still be classified as a radio receiver, even more so than the smartphone. Which the FCC says is a radio, not a telephone anyway. (If something isn't hardwired into the telephone lines, the FCC says it isn't a telephone, per se.)
 

jbella

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I've had scanners, and Motorola portables in my carry ons over the years. Ironically the last time I flew, coming home from Toronto was the only time I had an anomaly. Canadian Customs (or whomever is in charge of airport security) pulled it out of the bag.

On guy said to the other "I don't think its anything but just check to make sure." He pulled out out and chuckled. He explained that with the antenna off on the 436, the stub and volume control could vaguely be mistaken for 2 prongs of a taser. "Just a radio, eh?" and I was on my way.
 

wbswetnam

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Back in the very early 1990s, I had a Uniden 800XLT. Once, I flew with it in a carry-on backpack, and at the check point (this was pre-TSA) I had to take it out for inspection. They made me plug it in and turn it on to prove that it was a radio, but after that they let me put it back into my carry on and board the airplane.
 
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