TSA and Cleveland Hopkins Airport unveil in-line checked baggage screening system

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Local Press Release
Thursday, February 8, 2007

CLEVELAND The Transportation Security Administration and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) today will unveil a new $7.5 million in-line explosives detection baggage screening system now operational at the airport. 

“The success of this project is the result of the excellent partnership between TSA, the airport and Continental Airlines,” said TSA Federal Security Director Michael S. Young.  “This cutting-edge technology and innovative in-house project management demonstrates our commitment to the traveling public.”

The new system provides passengers, airlines and TSA with the speed, convenience and security of a fully automated, state-of-the art baggage handling and screening solution.  With the in-line system in place, TSA now can quickly and thoroughly screen thousands of bags per hour.  

“This system is representative of the type of leading-edge technology that TSA is deploying at world-class airports across the country and that we hope to expand at CLE,” said Cleveland Airport System Director Ricky D. Smith.  “Once the in-line system is fully-operational, the passengers’ experience should be greatly enhanced.”

The new system is designed to quickly detect and address potential threats.  All checked bags are routed by more than a half-mile of conveyor belts through TSA’s five Explosives Detection Systems (EDS).  This automated technology allows TSA to separate harmless checked luggage from suspect bags.  Bags that alarm are sent to a secondary screening area where they receive close scrutiny by highly skilled TSA security officers before being cleared for transport. 

The fully automated system has two significant benefits for TSA employees.  First, it reduces bag lifting for security officers, driving down work-related injuries and limiting fatigue.  Second, the more efficient in-line process allows TSA to reallocate officers from checked baggage to other security functions, including checkpoint passenger screening and other layers of security such as the Airport Direct Access Security Program to randomly, unpredictably screen airport employees. 

The in-line system was designed with projected airport growth data to ensure TSA’s baggage screening capabilities can expand to meet increased demand at Cleveland.  TSA fully funded the $7.5 million system, including system construction and EDS screening equipment.