A few days ago, I posted an article about some new CT scanners that are showing up in airports. These new scanners have more powerful X-rays and are more damaging to analog film.
The article mentioned roll film, but I was curious about sheet film.
So I reached out to the TSA and asked them for guidance about flying with sheet film. I don't have my list of original questions handy (I'll post it later when I come across it) but I did get a response back from the TSA. Here are the latest guidelines on traveling with large format sheet film, as of February 2020:
Thank you for contacting the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Contact Center.
Most x-ray machines used to screen carry-on bags should not damage undeveloped film under ASA\ISO 800. There are a limited number of screening checkpoints that use x-ray equipment that may damage undeveloped film. These airports will have signage in front of the x-ray stating that the x-ray may damage undeveloped film.
If you are traveling with the following types of film, please pack it in a clear plastic bag, remove it from your carry-on bag at the checkpoint, and ask for a hand inspection:
- Film with an ASA\ISO 800 or higher
- Highly sensitive x-ray or scientific films
- Film that is or will be underexposed
- Film that you intend to “push process”
- Sheet film
- Large format film
- Medical film
- Scientific film
- Motion picture film
- Professional grade film
- Film of any speed that is subjected to x-ray screening more than five times
In most cases, the x-ray equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage undeveloped film; therefore, please place undeveloped film in carry-on bags.