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Secretary Napolitano Announces Additional Recovery Act-Funded Advanced Imaging Technology Deployments

Release Date: 
July 20, 2010

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

Washington, D.C. - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the deployment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded advanced imaging technology (AIT) to 28 additional airports nationwide - strengthening security at airports throughout the nation while creating local jobs.

"As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to* best protect the traveling public and detect terrorism threats, we continue to deploy state-of-the-art advanced imaging technology across the country," said Secretary Napolitano. "The rapid deployment of this critical technology, made possible by Recovery Act funds, will strengthen security at even more airports nationwide."

"The deployment of advanced imaging technology demonstrates TSA's ongoing commitment to stay ahead of evolving threats to aviation security and protect the traveling public," said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

In addition to the airports announced by Secretary Napolitano earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will deploy AIT units to the following 28 airports:

  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)*
  • Bradley International Airport (BDL)
  • Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)*
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Fresno Air Terminal (FAT)
  • General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)
  • Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)
  • Harrisburg International Airport (MDT)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)*
  • Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)*
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)*
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)*
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC)*
  • Saipan International Airport (GSN)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)*
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)*
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)*

* Denotes airports that currently have AIT in place and are receiving additional units using ARRA funding.

Additional airports will be announced in the near future. Factors including airport readiness, checkpoint infrastructure, and capacity to ensure privacy protections - including a separate, remotely located room for viewing images - are carefully considered before AIT units are deployed to selected airports.

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; in the operational mode 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. In addition, AIT screening is optional to all passengers. Those who opt out may request alternative screening, to include a physical pat-down.

Imaging technology is safe for all travelers. The amount of radiation from a backscatter scan is equivalent to two minutes of flight on an airplane and energy emitted by millimeter wave technology is thousands times less than what is permitted for a cell phone.

Currently, there are more than 142 AIT units deployed to airports nationwide, and TSA plans to deploy 450 ARRA-funded units in 2010.

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, $734 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $266 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technologies.

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

* added "to"

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