TSA Administrator Kip Hawley announced today at a Congressional hearing plans for the agency to purchase 30 millimeter wave passenger imaging technology units and 580 in addition to the 250 we are already deploying by mid-year. These technologies will be deployed to airports across the nation and will provide a significant upgrade to security.
Millimeter wave, a form of whole body imaging technology, is currently in use at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Since its introduction there, more than 90 percent of passengers have elected to undergo screening with this technology instead of being subjected to a pat-down.
Los Angeles (LAX) and John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airports will begin millimeter wave pilots in Spring 2008.
Click here to learn more about millimeter wave technology.
Advanced Technology X-Ray (AT)
Advanced technology X-ray (AT), used to screen carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint, provides sharper, clearer images by using multiple sensors that improve TSA security officers' ability to detect potential threat items. Some AT units also have automated detection capabilities that will further enhance the TSOs' effectiveness. By comparison, currently deployed technology depends on a single, top-down X-ray view that has not fundamentally changed since the 1970s.
In addition, AT X-ray systems are built to be upgradeable and programmable. As threats emerge and detection algorithms improve, enhancements to the equipment at airports will generally require only a software upgrade.
Click here to learn more about advance technology X-ray.
Click here to watch a video explaining how Millimeter Wave technology is used in airports (WMV, 3.4 MB).
Click here to see animation demonstrating how Millimeter Wave imaging works (WMV, 3.4 MB).
Click here to watch how Millimeter Wave technology detects threats (WMV, 3.4 MB).
Click here to watch a video explaining how Advanced Technology X-ray works.
Click here to read Administrator Hawley's oral or written testimony from the hearing.