New gender-neutral screening procedures will take place at airports through updated technologies and processing options, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Starting in April, TSA said it will begin upgrading its Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), which most passengers pass through during the security process, with a more accurate machine that removes gender-specific scans thorough a more advanced algorithm. The new machine would also decrease the need for passenger pat downs.

“On this internationally recognized day for the transgender community, TSA is proud to announce significant initiatives as a direct result of close partnership with community stakeholders,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement, Thursday. “Over the coming months, TSA will move swiftly to implement more secure and efficient screening processes that are gender neutral, as well as technological updates that will enhance security and make TSA PreCheck enrollment more inclusive. These combined efforts will greatly enhance airport security and screening procedures for all.”

TSA PreCheck will also give the option for passengers to select from an “X” gender marker when applying for the pre-check offerings. Passengers may also retroactively change their gender selection for upcoming travel.

The new measures are part of a collaborative effort between TSA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Biden-Harris administration.

“DHS is committed to protecting the traveling public while ensuring that everyone, regardless of gender identity, is treated with respect,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. “The new measures announced today are part of a whole-of-government effort to promote equity and inclusion in all our programs and processes. We are proud to work with our interagency partners on this effort and look forward to rapidly implementing these changes to better serve the American public.”

In February, checkpoint officers were instructed to no longer consider gender while validating passenger identification.

Airlines are also working with the TSA to integrate “X” gender options for its passengers.

The 16.8million funding for the TSA upgrades will come from the 2022 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

LA Weekly