Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the first 11 airports to receive advanced imaging technology (AIT) units purchased with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds—strengthening security at airports throughout the country while boosting local economies.
“By accelerating the deployment of this technology, we are enhancing our capability to detect and disrupt threats of terrorism across the nation,” said Secretary Napolitano. “These 11 airports will be the first of many to receive this enhanced technology as a result of the Recovery Act.”
Based on security and operational needs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will deploy AIT units to the following airports:
-- Boston Logan International (BOS)
-- Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)
-- Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
-- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International (CVG)
-- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FFL)
-- Kansas City International (MCI)
-- Los Angeles International (LAX)
-- Mineta San José International (SJC)
-- Oakland International (OAK)
-- Port Columbus International (CMH)
-- San Diego International (SAN)
AIT units are being installed today at Boston Logan International airport, and within the coming week at Chicago O’Hare International airport, followed by full deployment of the ARRA-funded technology at the remainder of the 11 airports by Summer 2010. All airports receiving ARRA-funded AIT units, except Los Angeles International, are receiving this technology for the first time.
Additional airports will be announced in the near future. Many factors are taken into consideration before AIT units are deployed including airport readiness, checkpoint infrastructure, and capacity to ensure privacy protections—including a separate, remotely located room for viewing images.
Advanced imaging technology is designed to bolster security by safely screening passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats—including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing. The ARRA-funded machines will include the latest security enhancements to detect new and evolving threats.
TSA ensures passenger privacy through the anonymity of AIT images—a privacy filter is applied to blur all images; images are permanently deleted immediately once viewed and are never stored, transmitted or printed; and the officer viewing the image is stationed in a remote location so as not to come into contact with passengers being screened.
Currently, 40 AIT units purchased previously are deployed at 19 airports nationwide. TSA expects to deploy a total of 450 AIT units by the end of 2010.
Last month, in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act, Secretary Napolitano highlighted the ARRA investments in technology and infrastructure at airports across the country.
ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects through DHS and the General Services Administration (GSA). Of the $1 billion allocated to TSA for aviation security projects, $700 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $300 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technologies.
To learn more about the DHS Recovery Act projects, visit www.dhs.gov/recovery.