TSA Installing Advanced Imaging Technology at Ketchikan International Airport
December 14, 2011
The machines will be deployed with new automated target recognition (ATR) software designed to enhance privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images. The generic is identical for all passengers. AIT is designed to enhance security by safely screening passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats - including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing.
By eliminating the image of an actual passenger and replacing it with a generic outline of a person, passengers are able to view the same outline that the TSA officer sees. Further, a separate TSA officer is no longer required to view the image in a remotely located viewing room. By removing this step of the process, screening is more efficient and throughput capability of the technology is improved.
"The deployment of this technology further strengthens security while also enhancing passenger privacy," said TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Capabilities Robin Kane. "The ability to safely detect non-metallic threats concealed under layers of clothing provides TSA Officers with an invaluable resource."
Many factors are taken into consideration before AIT units are deployed including airport readiness and checkpoint infrastructure.
According to the TSA, imaging technology screening is safe for all travelers, and the technology meets all known national and international health and safety standards. In fact, the energy emitted by millimeter wave technology is 1000 times less than the international limits and guidelines.
In September 2011, TSA purchased 300 millimeter wave units equipped with ATR, which are currently being deployed. Currently, there are approximately 540 AIT units at more than 100 airports nationwide. President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget included the purchase of 500 units, and the President’s fiscal 2012 budget requests funding for an additional 275 units.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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