WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced that it has deployed an explosives detection trace portal to the passenger security checkpoint in Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport. This new trace portal machine exemplifies TSA’s commitment to deploying state-of-the-art technology to our nation’s airports in an ongoing effort to mitigate threats.
“We are eager to utilize this trace portal as another layer of security here at Newark Liberty,” said Marcus V. Arroyo, TSA’s Federal Security Director at the airport. “Given the success of the pilot project in other airports, I look forward to receiving several additional trace portal machines in the coming months, and I want to thank our airport and airlines partners for their ongoing efforts to facilitate the installation of new technology.”
Passengers identified as needing additional screening will pass through the trace portal. As passengers enter the trace portal, they will be 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 alarms.
TSA has already advanced its explosives detection capabilities at the passenger security checkpoint by deploying trace portals to airports in Baltimore; Boston; Gulfport, Miss.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; 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.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; New York (LaGuardia); Palm Beach, Fla.; Pittsburgh; San Juan, P.R., and Washington, D.C. (both Dulles and Reagan National), with additional machines going to Newark Liberty, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
TSA continues to increase its explosives detection capabilities and will announce the next round of airports to receive these 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. Each machine costs $160,000 to $170,000, depending on the volume purchased.