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Enhanced Security in Airports

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In an announcement issued on July 20, 2010, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that national security is being improved in many airports nationwide.  This is being achieved through the deployment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provides for the installment of advanced imaging technology (AIT) to 28 more airports.  Soon, AIT will be added to even more airports. 

The purpose of AIT is to screen passengers for metallic and non – metallic items – such as weapons or bombs – that threaten the safety of other passengers.  These screenings will protect passengers’ privacy and allow them to remain anonymous by:

  • Applying a privacy filter that blurs all images
  • Never storing or printing images and permanently deleting them immediately after they are viewed
  • Positioning the officer viewing the screenings in a remote location where he or she will not come into contact with the passengers

AIT screening is not mandatory – passengers have the option to have an alternative screening that may include a physical pat-down.   AIT screenings do not pose any health hazards and emit less radiation than cell phones do. 

There are currently 142 airports nationwide that use AIT screenings.  That number is planned to go up to 450 airports by the end of 2010.  Of the 28 airports that have just installed AIT screeners, the following are the most popular and closest to the DC area:

  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

To view the list of all 28 airports and to read the full article, please go to: http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1279642622060.shtm

(image taken from http://www.faqs.org/photo-dict/photofiles/list/8/667airplane.jpg)

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