TSA Continues to Roll-out Explosives Detection Trace Portals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced that it is deploying one explosives detection trace portal to the north passenger security checkpoint and another to the central security checkpoint in Terminal D at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW). Two additional machines will be deployed to other terminals by September 2005.

“These deployments signify TSA’s ongoing commitment to develop and execute new technologies within aviation,” said Jimmy Wooten, TSA’s Federal Security Director at DFW. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the airport and airlines to launch this new technology, and we look forward to our continued partnership in the utilization and facilitation of this state-of-the-art equipment.”

Passengers identified as needing additional screening will pass through the trace portal for explosives detection screening. As passengers enter the trace portal, they are asked to stand still for a few seconds while several “puffs” of air are released, dislodging microscopic particles from passengers that are then collected and analyzed for traces of explosives. A computerized voice indicates when a passenger may exit the portal. Screeners will take necessary and appropriate steps to resolve possible alarms.

TSA has already advanced its explosives detection capabilities at the passenger security checkpoint by deploying trace portals at airports in Baltimore; Boston; Gulfport, Miss.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Newark; New York (JFK); Phoenix; Providence, R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Francisco; San Diego; and Tampa, Fla.

By the end of September, TSA plans to deploy this technology to airports in Charlotte, N.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; New York (LaGuardia); Palm Beach, Fla.; Pittsburgh; San Juan, P.R., and Washington, D.C. (both Dulles and Reagan National).

TSA will continue to increase its explosives detection capabilities and expects to announce another round of airports to receive trace portal machines by the end of the summer. TSA anticipates deploying 100 additional machines to the nation’s largest airports by January 2006.

TSA purchased the trace portal equipment from two vendors: GE Infrastructure, Security and Smiths Detection. TSA is working on a procurement strategy for the next round of equipment purchases, which costs more than $160,000 per machine.

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