TSA to deploy additional explosives trace portals at five airports

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GE awarded contract for nine machines
National Press Release
Friday, March 25, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced it will deploy Explosives Detection Trace Portal machines to the following airports by the end of May 2005: Miami International, San Francisco International, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Boston's Logan International, and Los Angeles International.

"The deployment of this equipment is part of TSA's pledge to increase its explosives detection capabilities at the nation's security checkpoints," said Rear Adm. David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. "The pilot program, scheduled to continue through early summer, will provide the security and customer service data needed to assist in future expansion."

Under the program, select passengers will be directed by the TSA screeners to step into the trace portal. These passengers will remain in the portal for a few seconds while several "puffs" of air are released. The portal will then analyze the air for traces of explosives and a computerized voice will tell the passenger when to exit.

TSA will also purchase nine Explosives Detection Trace Portal machines from General Electric (GE) Ion Trak of Wilmington, Mass.

Last summer during Phase I of the pilot, TSA began field testing GE trace portals at passenger security checkpoints at airports in Providence, R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego; Tampa, Fla.; and Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss. GE had loaned four machines to TSA for Phase I and TSA already owned one GE trace portal. TSA will now purchase the four trace portals that have been on loan to TSA and the five GE machines being deployed for $1.5 million under a one-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract. This is the first delivery order for the company.

With this latest deployment, TSA will then have trace portals in 14 airports by the end of May 2005. In fall 2004, TSA purchased five trace portals from Smiths Detection of Pine Brook, N.J. TSA deployed those portals to John F. Kennedy (N.Y.) International Airport, Jacksonville (Fla.) International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.