Grand Forks International Airport gets new state-of-the-art checkpoint screening equipment

Local Press Release
Friday, April 21, 2017

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Transportation Security Administration has installed the latest security checkpoint screening technology at Grand Forks International Airport (GFK).

A new body scanner, also referred to as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), will be used to screen passengers for metallic and non-metallic items including weapons, explosives and other objects that can be concealed in layers of clothing. The body scanner at GFK is a second-generation AIT with a smaller footprint than earlier versions of the same type of machine that is in use at other U.S. airports.

“The installation of an AIT in the TSA security checkpoint will increase the efficiency of the screening process for passengers departing GFK,” said David Durgan, TSA Federal Security Director for North Dakota. “In addition, this technology is another way that TSA is able to detect current and evolving security threats to the aviation system.”

"This equipment is a significant enhancement that will not only increase security, but improve the passenger screening experience,” said Ryan Riesinger, Executive Director of the Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority. “We appreciate TSA’s efforts to bring this technology to GFK."

Every AIT unit operated by TSA has automated target recognition software, which is designed to enhance passenger privacy by creating a generic, computer generated outline that is identical for all travelers. If the body scanner detects a concealed item on the traveler, a yellow box appears on the generic outline. This box identifies where the TSA officer needs to conduct any follow-up screening.

The AIT unit is equipped with millimeter wave technology, which uses harmless electromagnetic waves to perform a single scan of the passenger. The technology meets all known national and international health and safety standards; the energy emitted by millimeter wave technology is 1,000 times less than the international limits and guidelines.

Because the body scanner is not a metal detector, many passengers including those with metal hips or knee replacements prefer to be screened by the AIT. In addition, the AIT does not use X-ray technology and it does not generate X-ray specific images of any traveler.  

TSA completed installation of the AIT earlier this week. It is being used as the primary method of passenger screening at GFK.