The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced $1bn of funding to accelerate and enhance the implementation of aviation security projects.

The stimulus project funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will allocate $700m to checked baggage explosive detection systems and $300m to checkpoint explosive detection technology.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that President Obama’s plan to stimulate the economy created a perfect opportunity to accelerate the strategic airport security plan.

“The proposed construction projects are projected to create more than 3,000 jobs and will continue our security strategy of risk-based application of assets and funds.”

The department’s strategy for the execution of the funds is to accelerate the implementation of optimal checked baggage solutions and the enhanced detection of liquid threats in carry-on baggage.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued conditional letters to the following 17 airports informing them that their checked baggage explosive detection systems would be considered for review under the programme: Anchorage, Atlanta, Columbus, Dayton, Honolulu, Huntsville, Jackson Hole, Maui, New Orleans, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and Tallahassee.

DHS would dedicate the $300m in checkpoint technology to procuring and deploying additional X-ray units, whole body imaging technology and bottled liquid scanners.

Final airport project selections will occur as designs and costs are validated. DHS expects to start obligating funds as early as late spring.

By Daniel Garrun.