TSA brings latest explosives detection technology to Tunica Airport

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Local Press Release
Thursday, August 13, 2009

TUNICA, Miss. - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the deployment of a Reveal Explosives Detection System (EDS) machine for screening checked baggage at Tunica Airport (UTA). Traffic at the airport has increased 33 percent year-over-year and the advanced technology will offer passengers a quicker and easier check-in process and improve overall security.

"By adding Explosives Detection Systems at Tunica, we greatly enhance the security at the airport with state-of-the-art technology designed to detect explosive materials," said TSA Federal Security Director David Wynn. "We look forward to continuing to provide a high level of security for travelers in the region with this technology."

"I applaud the TSA's effort in moving forward with this strategic plan for enhanced aviation security," Congressman Bennie Thompson said. "The explosives detection system will enhance aviation security and screening practices at Tunica airport, while streamlining the passenger check-in process."

Cliff Nash, the Tunica Airport executive director, said, "Since our air traffic in Tunica has increased from 14,000 passengers in 2006 to more than 60,000 passengers in 2008, this new TSA technology to enhance baggage screening capabilities was greatly needed. It significantly improves the airport's ability to work with customers and addresses the growing air program, making for easier flights in and out of Tunica."

As of August 2009, TSA has deployed more than 260 Reveal machines to date with Tunica becoming the 100th airport to receive this equipment. The Reveal technology was specifically designed for use at mostly small- to medium-sized airports. TSA originally tested the technology in 2005, when the agency evaluated the machines' effectiveness in an airport environment as well as their impact on security and customer service.

The Reveal CT-80s are smaller and are less than half the price of other EDS machines in use at many commercial airports nationwide. Tunica's EDS cost was $388,000, which included purchase and installation.

For more information about TSA, please visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.