Transportation Security Administration aviation security projects

Security deviceThe Recovery Act provided the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with a $1 billion appropriation for the purchase of explosive detection systems and advanced technology X-ray units that will streamline baggage screening and enhance security at airports nationwide.

Out of the $1 billion to be spent on TSA aviation security projects, $700 million is dedicated to checked baggage screening efforts and $300 million for checkpoint explosive detection technology (X-ray units, whole body imaging technology and bottled liquid scanners).

On March 5, 2009, the TSA issued conditional letters to several airports across the nation informing them their checked baggage explosive detection system projects were being considered for execution under the Recovery Act. Those airports were required to submit updated project information prior to final approval. TSA will assess readiness and final cost estimates. Final airport project selections will occur as designs and costs are validated.

On May 8, 2009, U.S. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced initial awards of $50 million under this program, which will enable the TSA to accelerate its efforts to deploy the latest and most effective technology to airports across the country.

  • DHS will purchase 123 reduced-size explosives detection systems from Reveal Imaging Technologies for approximately $47 million under an existing competitively awarded contract. This technology, which quickly scans bags and analyzes the contents for explosives, will be distributed nationwide and is currently in place at more than 200 airports.
  • DHS will purchase 44 advanced technology X-ray units from Rapiscan Systems for approximately $3 million under an existing competitively awarded contract. This technology provides a significant increase in detail and sophistication for passengers and carry-on bag screening over single-view X-ray units. This new units can be reprogrammed, allowing the machines to adapt to evolving threats. Approximately 770 units are currently deployed at airports across the nation.

Included in the May 8, 2009, announcement was $1,158,203.28 for the Eastern Iowa Regional Airport in Cedar Rapids. The funds will be used to purchase an explosive detection system and advanced technology X-ray unit that will streamline baggage screening and enhance security capabilities at the airport.