11 airports get new body scanners

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Department of Homeland Security on Friday named the first 11 airports to receive full-body scanners paid for with stimulus funds, with most of them going to California and the Midwest.

The first advanced imaging technology scanners are being installed at Boston Logan International on Friday, according to the DHS, with scanners going to 10 additional airports by the summer.

rapiscan_scan.03.jpg
Rapiscan scanners use X-ray technology to detect objects hidden under clothing.

Logan, the departure point for two of the airplanes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, is the only airport in the Northeast to receive a full-body scanner.

None of the airports in the New York City area are included in the first wave of installations, despite the city's status as a prime target for terrorists.

"The Transportation Security Administration deploys imaging technology based on risk airport readiness and operation suitability," said TSA spokeswoman Sarah Horowitz, when asked why none of the scanners were installed in or near New York City. "TSA anticipates announcing the next deployment later on this month."

Chicago O'Hare International will be the next location to get one, with installation scheduled for next week, according to the DHS.

Scanners will be installed in three other Midwestern airports in addition to O'Hare, including Port Columbus International in Ohio, Kansas City International in Missouri, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International.

Another four are slated for California airports, including Los Angeles International, San Diego International, Oakland International and Mineta San José International.

Two scanners are slated for Southern airports: Charlotte Douglas International in North Carolina and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International in Florida.

The U.S. government is using $25 million in stimulus money to buy and install 150 full-body scanners in airports this year, to ramp up security and create jobs.

"By accelerating the deployment of this technology, we are enhancing our capability to detect and disrupt threats of terrorism across the nation," said DHS secretary Janet Napolitano in a press release on Friday. "These 11 airports will be the first of many to receive this enhanced technology as a result of the Recovery Act."

The scanners are manufactured by Rapiscan, a subsidiary of Hawthorn, Calif.-based OSI (OSIS). They cost from $150,000 to $180,000 each.

Peter Kant, vice president of global government affairs for Rapiscan, told CNNMoney.com in January that the government contract helped to create 25 jobs. The company did not immediately return call for comment on Friday.

The soon-to-be-installed advanced imaging scanners use X-rays to provide detailed images of hidden objects in or under a person's clothing, such as weapons or explosives. According to Kant, this type of technology could have been used to prevent the alleged Christmas Eve bomber from boarding the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight with explosives hidden in his underwear.

The Transportation Security Administration has already implemented 40 scanners using a different type of technology called "millimeter wave advanced imaging" in 19 airports servicing Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Dallas and other cities. These scanners were manufactured by L-3 Communications Corp., (LLL, Fortune 500) based in Woburn, Mass. To top of page

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