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Secretary Napolitano Announces More than $355 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Airport Security Projects

Release Date: 
October 1, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced more than $355 million in funding for more than a dozen airport security projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“These state-of-the-art technologies will bolster security and increase efficiency for both travelers and employees,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Investing Recovery Act funds in these critical airport projects will create jobs in local communities while strengthening our efforts to guard against terrorism.”

Secretary Napolitano announced approximately $254 million in ARRA funds for inline baggage handling systems at six airports—including Washington Dulles International Airport ($154 million); Mineta San Jose International Airport ($20.9 million); San Antonio International Airport ($14.4 million); Portland (Maine) International Jetport ($9.2 million); Port Columbus International Airport ($35.2 million); and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ($20 million).

Inline baggage handling systems eliminate the need for passengers to walk checked baggage to a screening location and wait before proceeding to the security checkpoint, incorporate enhanced explosive detection technology to provide on-screen viewing capabilities for TSA officers conducting baggage screenings and reduce the number of re-scans and physical bag searches

In addition, Secretary Napolitano announced approximately $38 million in ARRA funds to support new and enhanced closed circuit television (CCTV) systems, which enhance surveillance capabilities at six airports—including Chicago Midway International Airport ($2.7 million); Little Rock National Airport/Adams Field ($5.9 million); Kansas City International Airport ($9.4 million); Omaha Eppley Airfield Airport ($3.6 million); Washington Dulles International Airport ($8.1 million); and Tampa International Airport ($8.1 million).

Secretary Napolitano also announced approximately $37 million in ARRA funds for the purchase and installation of multiple additional checkpoint technologies—including $15 million for Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) units, which detect traces of explosives; and $22 million for Bottled Liquid Scanners (BLS), a technology that screens medically necessary liquids such as infant formula and liquid medications to ensure they do not contain a threat.

More than $25 million will fund the purchase and deployment of approximately 150 backscatter advanced imaging units to airports across the nation—designed to bolster security by quickly screening passengers for concealed threats of all kinds without physical contact. This deployment follows a successful pilot phase, during which 46 imaging technology units were deployed at 23 airports and passengers opted to use imaging technology for primary screening 99 percent of the time.

In awarding ARRA funds, DHS prioritizes shovel-ready projects that infuse resources into local economies quickly while meeting critical security needs. DHS has obligated more than 50 percent of its ARRA funds to date—more than $1.5 billion.

ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 19, 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 was dedicated to screening checked baggage and $300 million was allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technology and closed circuit television systems.

To learn more about the DHS Recovery Act projects, visit www.dhs.gov/recovery.

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