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TSA installs new screening technology at North Country airports

By Eric Reinhardt


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed “the latest” checkpoint-screening technology equipment at three North Country airports.

They include Ogdensburg International Airport, Massena International Airport, and Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake, the TSA said in a news release issued Tuesday. The TSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

With the addition of the new advanced-imaging technology (AIT) machines at these airports, TSA says it is able to “further strengthen” security for passengers flying out of Northern New York.

TSA describes the machines as “state-of-the-art” equipment. They have automated target-recognition software that uses bright yellow boxes to indicate to a TSA officer the location of an alarm on a generic “cookie cutter” image of a passenger.

With the indication, the officer “knows exactly” where to check a passenger for a possible threat item. If the machine indicates no threats, then a green screen appears that indicates the passenger is cleared to pass through the checkpoint.

“AIT technology 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,” Bart Johnson, TSA’s upstate New York federal security director, said in the agency’s release.

The new checkpoint-screening equipment includes a generic image of all passengers who are screened, the TSA said.

It’s the same generic image for all passengers, regardless of their gender, height, or weight and “ensures passenger privacy.”

The image looks “very much like the outline of a cookie cutter.”

Imaging-technology screening is “safe” for all travelers, and the technology “meets all known” national and international health and safety standards, the agency contends. The TSA also stipulates that the energy emitted by millimeter wave technology is 1,000 times less than the international limits and guidelines.

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