TSA began testing state-of-the-art Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) in 2007 and began deploying units to airports in 2008. This technology can detect a wide range of threats to transportation security in a matter of seconds to protect passengers and crews. Imaging technology is an integral part of TSA's effort to continually look for new technologies that help ensure travel remains safe and secure by staying ahead of evolving threats.
TSA currently uses millimeter wave AIT to safely screen passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including weapons and explosives, which may be concealed under clothing without physical contact to help TSA keep the traveling public safe. There are 740 AIT units deployed at nearly 160 airports nationwide.
All millimeter wave AIT units deployed at airports are outfitted with software designed to enhance passenger privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images and instead auto-detecting potential threats and highlighting their location on a generic outline of a passenger that is identical for all passengers.
AIT screening is safe for all passengers and the technology meets national health and safety standards. Also, AIT screening is optional and alternative screening is available for all passengers.
Since imaging technology has been deployed at airports, more than 99 percent of passengers choose to be screened by this technology over alternative screening procedures. According to a 2010 CBS poll, four out of five Americans support the use of Advanced Imaging Technology at airports nationwide. (cbsnews.com) Click here to see more independent polling on AIT acceptance.
Additionally, passengers with joint replacements or other medical devices that would regularly alarm a metal detector often prefer this technology because it is quicker and less invasive than a pat-down.