FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa was joined today by City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport officials to unveil new state-of-the-art advanced imaging technology (AIT) full-body imaging scanners at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
“Combined with our additional security measures and protocols, AIT scanners are helping keep LAX on the cutting edge of airport security,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Because the safety improvement is so significant, I strongly support the use of AIT scanners at LAX and every airport in the country. I would like to thank Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and our federal partners for funding this technology through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
“With these new scanners, LAX becomes safer. I commend my security partners Mayor Villaraigosa and LAWA’s Gina Marie Lindsey for their initiative,” said U.S. Representative Jane Harman (D-Venice), chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence. “Scanners are a central part of secondary screening, a key way to make certain that passengers whose affiliations or travel information raise questions do not pose a threat to the traveling public or airport personnel.
“These scanners, manufactured in Torrance, also mean more jobs for Angelenos. I have been scanned and am confident that the technology is medically safe and TSA protocols protect individual privacy,” Harman added.
City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX, said, “This is a fantastic new option for travelers who would rather not undergo a TSA manual pat-down, and certainly for those whose medical conditions prevent the use of the metal detectors. It is less invasive, quicker, and has already proven to be a preferred alternative for the flying public.”
Advanced imaging Technology (AIT) machines will be installed at all of TSA’s passenger security screening stations located in all nine LAX terminals.
The AIT machines allow TSA personnel to safely screen passengers for both metallic and non-metallic threats, including weapons and explosives which may be concealed under clothing, without physical contact. The machines utilize backscatter imaging technology which projects low-level X-ray beams over the body to create a reflection of the body, which is displayed like a chalk etching on a monitor located in a private room away from the machine.
“AIT is the latest addition to the many layers of security that have been implemented at LAX since 9/11,” said Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. “In conjunction with the TSA, we have approached security from every angle and commend the TSA for implementing this new technology.”
According to TSA officials, advanced imaging technology is completely optional for all passengers. Passengers who wish to opt out or AIT screening will receive alternative screening, which includes a physical pat-down.
The TSA also has implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy by ensuring the anonymity of each image, which cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once reviewed. Additionally, a privacy algorithm is applied to each image.
AIT installations at LAX is part of TSA’s national deployment of 450 units in 2010, which began last spring. The units are being purchased with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The new AIT units complement an existing 142 imaging technology units already in operation at 41 airports. In addition, President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget requests funding to purchase and deploy an additional 500 AIT machines
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