Big Island, Kauai Airports get Funding for Bomb-Detection Equipment

HONOLULU (AP) -- Airports on the Big Island and Kauai will be receiving a total of $9.5 million from the federal government to expand their ability to screen luggage for explosive devices, U.S. Rep. Ed Case said Tuesday.

Case said it was necessary to equip the airports with explosive screening devices because of growing terrorist threats in the Asia/Pacific region and the increased visitor traffic to Hawaii, which is currently enjoying a tourism boom.

''The additional equipment will help to strengthen airline and airport security and the safety of all passengers and airline crews,'' Case, D-Hawaii, said in a statement.

The Transportation Security Administration will provide $3.5 million to Kona International Airport and $2.5 million to Hilo International Airport on the Big Island, said Case, whose 2nd District includes Kauai and the Big Island. Lihue Airport will receive $3.5 million from the TSA.

''Screening in Kona is woefully inadequate and that airport has been crying for additional (explosive detection system) machines for the past two years -- thus far without result,'' Case said. ''The same is true for our airports on Maui and Kauai.''