US TSA to deploy advanced imaging units in 25 airports

30 January 2012 (Last Updated January 30th, 2012 04:35)

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is planning to deploy advanced imaging technology (AIT) units equipped with the new automated target recognition (ATR) software to 25 airports in the country.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is planning to deploy advanced imaging technology (AIT) units equipped with the new automated target recognition (ATR) software to 25 airports in the country.

The AIT systems, also known as millimetre wave units will improve privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images along with enhancing the throughput capabilities and streamlining the checkpoint screening process.

TSA Security Capabilities assistant administrator Robin Kane said: "Advanced imaging technology is currently the best available technology to detect non-metallic threat items concealed under layers of clothing. This deployment enhances not only aviation security, but also the safety and security of the travelling public."

The system will also help in securely screening the passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats that include weapons, explosives and other objects hidden under layers of outfits.

The airports planned to receive AIT units include Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Augusta Regional Airport (AGS), Billings Logan International Airport (BIL), Blue Grass Airport (LEX), Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) and Charleston International Airport (CHS).

TSA will also deploy the AIT systems at Colorado Springs Airport (COS), Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), Columbus Airport (CSG), Cyril E. King International Airport (STT), Fargo Hector International Airport (FAR), Gary / Chicago International Airport (GYY) and Grand Forks International (GFK) among others.

TSA will consider factors such as airport readiness and checkpoint infrastructure before deploying the AIT units at the airports. TSA said the AIT meets the national and international health and safety standards and the energy discharged by the AIT is 1,000 times less than the international limits and guidelines which is considered safe for travellers.

TSA procured 300 millimetre wave units in September 2011 which are now being deployed at airports across the country. The US government purchased 500 AIT units as part of the 2011 budget and has also requested funding for 275 additional units from the 2012 budget.