"Elmira-Corning Regional Airport Gets New TSA State-of-the-Art Advanced Image Technology Checkpoint Screening Equipment"
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
BIG FLATS- Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli and Ann Crook, Elmira Corning Regional Airport’s Director of Aviation, joined the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today in introducing the latest checkpoint screening technology equipment for Elmira-Corning Regional Airport (ELM).
With the addition of the new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machine at ELM, the airport is able to further strengthen security for passengers flying out of Elmira. The machine is state-of-the-art equipment with new automated target recognition software –designed to enhance passenger privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images while improving throughput capabilities of the technology and streamlining the checkpoint screening process.
“Advanced imaging technology remains TSA’s best opportunity to detect the aviation security threats of tomorrow,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “We remain committed to deploying this integral counterterrorism tool in order to ensure the highest level of security for the traveling public.”
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.
The new scanning equipment is currently in use at the airport. TSA officers began their training on the new equipment earlier this month, according to TSA Federal Security Director John McCaffrey.
Currently, there are more than 500 AIT units at more than 90 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.
“This new scanner will provide an added level of security for passengers flying out of ELM,” said Santulli. “The new technology is less invasive thereby providing a privacy and comfort level for the individual while also providing passengers a sense of security and peace of mind while traveling.”
Crook said, "The installation of this AIT machine is the latest in a series of investments that the Federal government has made at ELM. It's encouraging to know that our Federal agency partners recognize the importance of the economic impact that our airport contributes to the region."
TSA takes all measures to ensure passenger privacy with its use of AIT screening. In July 2011, TSA began installing the new software on millimeter wave imaging technology machines currently in airports to enhance existing privacy protections. The additional millimeter wave units are being deployed with the new software installed, and all millimeter wave units currently in use are in the process of being upgraded with the new software.