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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced approximately $15 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the construction of a new inline baggage handling system at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
“Putting Recovery Act dollars to work in the Bay Area will heighten security for air travelers, speed the baggage process and create jobs that reinvigorate the economy,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This new technology will better equip San Francisco International Airport to detect explosives and other threats while streamlining the check-in process for passengers.”
The inline baggage handling system will eliminate the need for passengers to walk their checked baggage to a screening location and wait before proceeding to the security checkpoint. The system incorporates enhanced explosive detection technology to provide on-screen viewing capabilities for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers conducting baggage screenings and reduces the number of re-scans and physical bag searches.
Secretary Napolitano made the announcement at San Francisco International Airport, where she greeted airport officials and local government and business leaders, viewed bomb detection systems and toured TSA operations.
In awarding ARRA funds, DHS prioritizes shovel-ready projects that infuse resources into local economies quickly while meeting critical security needs. DHS has obligated nearly 20 percent of its ARRA funds to date, and is on track to obligate more than 50 percent by the end of September 2009.
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 is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $300 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technology.
To learn more about the DHS Recovery Act projects, visit www.dhs.gov/recovery.