LEWISTON, Idaho – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed the latest security checkpoint screening technology at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport (LWS) serving the Lewis Clark Valley of Idaho and Washington.
The 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 LWS is a second-generation AIT with a smaller footprint than earlier versions of the same type of machine in use at other U.S. airports.
“The installation of the body scanner in the security checkpoint at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport is a welcome addition,” said Andy Coose, TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho. “This piece of equipment is yet another tool TSA uses to keep travelers safe by detecting and deterring potential threat items that could be harmful to the aviation system.”
Every AIT unit operated by TSA is equipped with 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 onscreen, over the generic outline. This box identifies where on the passenger 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, AIT does not use X-ray technology and it does not generate X-ray specific images of any traveler.
Below are some tips to help travelers prepare for screening through the body scanner:
- Remove all items – metallic and non-metallic – from pockets. Common items carried by passengers that should be removed include boarding passes, money including bills and coins, tissues, eye glasses, cell phones and keys.
- TSA recommends securing these items in carry-on luggage prior to entering the body scanner.
- When being screened by the body scanner, place both hands in the air, over the head. Stand as still as possible during the scan, which takes two to three seconds.
After TSA completed installation of the AIT at LWS, TSA officers were trained in its use. The AIT will be used as the primary method of passenger screening for travelers departing LWS.