TSA to Widely Deploy New Passenger Screening Technologies

By Matthew Harwood

The Transportation Security Administration announced yesterday it will expand deployment of an array of new passenger screening technologies at a second round of U.S. airports.

Screening technologies such as the Advanced Technology (AT) X-ray and Passenger Imaging units can detect dangerous and deadly items ranging from knives to improvised explosive devices.

"This major step up in technology coupled with our enhanced security training for our officers will elevate security across the board," said Kip Hawley, TSA administrator. "AT X-ray and Passenger Imaging technologies greatly enhance our ability to find small improvised explosive device (IED) components made of common items, which remain the greatest threat."

Passenger Imaging units will also allow security screeners to detect prohibited items such as weapons or explosives, whether metallic or non-metallic, underneath a traveler's clothing. TSA says the added advantages of AT X-ray technology include more targeted searches, faster screening, and the ability to update the system with enhanced algorithms.

The second deployment of the AT X-ray and Passenger Imaging units will reach the airports of Chicago (O'Hare), Atlanta, Newark, Boston, Indianapolis, New York (LaGuardia), Tampa, San Juan, and San Francisco in the next few months.
It will bring the total number of AT X-ray and Passenger Imaging units at airports nationwide to 900 and 120, respectively.

The announcement to expand deployment of new passenger screening technologies came on the same day that TSA's program to screen cargo before it is placed on passenger planes for shipment was widely criticized at a congressional hearing.



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