Thursday morning, the Transportation Safety Administration put air travelers through the newly installed "A-I-T 2" scanner at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.
The machine produces a "cookie cutter" outline, which pinpoints any spot where someone might be hiding a weapon or device. The machine doesn't eliminate, but largely cuts down the need, for patdowns from false positives like replacement joints.
Rhinelander's is now one of about 860 machines in 258 U.S. airports.
Wisconsin's TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay says the new scanner doesn't replace TSA officers. Anytime an item is found a targeted patdown is still required...
".....safely screen passengers for both metallic and non-metallic threats, including weapons and explosives without physically coming into contact with the traveling public...."
Airport Director Joe Brauer knew smaller terminals like Rhinelander would need to wait to get this technology, which debuted in 2010. But with an install that took about an hour, Brauer says safety was instantly upgraded...
"...it's good for our travelers, it's good for our airport and it's good for aviation..."
The TSA is working to get the exact same technology in ALL commercial airports, regardless of size. The agency expects to only need to update the SOFTWARE, which means the units should last several years.
Story courtesy WJFW.