MIAMI – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that Miami International Airport (MIA) will receive a new explosives detection trace portal to screen passengers at the Concourse E security checkpoint, starting today. Miami will be the tenth airport to participate in this pilot. The equipment is part of the Phase II pilot program to test and evaluate the trace portal for screening passengers for explosives.
"We are eager to utilize this trace portal as another layer of security at Miami International Airport," said Rick Thomas, TSA Federal Security Director. "The deployment of this state-of-the-art technology to Miami underlines TSA's commitment to prevent explosives from getting on-board aircraft."
Last summer during Phase I of the pilot, TSA began field testing trace portals at passenger security checkpoints at airports in Providence (R.I.), Rochester (N.Y.), San Diego (Calif.), Tampa (Fla.) and Gulfport-Biloxi (Miss.) In fall 2004, TSA deployed a trace portal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and in January and February 2005, the agency installed equipment at Jacksonville (Fla.) International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. TSA will deploy this equipment at four additional airports by the end of May. The pilot, scheduled to continue through the summer, will provide data on the impact of the equipment on security and customer service.
At Miami, some passengers will be directed by the TSA screeners to step into the trace portal. Passengers will stand still for a few seconds while several "puffs" of air are released. The portal will collect and analyze the air for traces of explosives and a computerized voice will tell passengers when to exit.
Even as the pilot program continues, TSA has allocated $28.3 million to purchase and install an additional 147 trace portals. TSA is currently developing a purchase and deployment plan to have the equipment in airports by January 2006. Once the plans are finalized, TSA will announce the next group of airports to receive the equipment.