DHS spreads full-body scanner capabilities

Tuesday - 7/20/2010, 1:42pm EDT

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Well hello, Harrisburg and smile, San Antonio! Twenty eight airports will be getting, or beefing up, new full-body scanners thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says in a statement, the new units "will strengthen security" while "creating local jobs."

The advanced imaging technology (AIT) Backscatter and millimeter wave units are being sent to the following 28 airports:

  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)*
  • Bradley International Airport (BDL)
  • Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)*
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Fresno Air Terminal (FAT)
  • General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)
  • Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)
  • Harrisburg International Airport (MDT)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)*
  • Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)*
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)*
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)*
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC)*
  • Saipan International Airport (GSN)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)*
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)*
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)*

* Denotes airports that currently have AIT in place and are receiving additional units using ARRA funding.

(TSA blog photo)

According to DHS, locations for the new units were chosen based on their "readiness, checkpoint infrastructure, and capacity to ensure privacy protections - including a separate, remotely located room for viewing images-are carefully considered before AIT units are deployed to selected airports."

Advanced imaging technology screens passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including explosives, without physical contact.

"The deployment of advanced imaging technology demonstrates TSA's ongoing commitment to stay ahead of evolving threats to aviation security and protect the traveling public," said TSA Administrator John Pistole in a press release.

TSA said all passengers may request alternative screening, including a physical pat-down.

Of the $1 billion allocated to TSA for aviation security projects, $734 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $266 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technologies.

Learn more from the TSA about AIT at: http://blog.tsa.gov/2010/01/advance-imaging-technology-storing.html

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