Denver International gets new bomb-sniffing machines
| 05.30.2006 | 07:00:21 | Views: 2453 | ID:
May 30 '06: New machines being installed at Denver International Airport will test passengers' clothes for explosives residue by sending puffs of air over the travelers' clothes and then taking an analysis the Denver Post reported Tuesday. "In 20 seconds or less, the device collects the air sample and analyses it for explosives residue," the Post was told by federal aviation security officials. "Passengers selected for the the new screening will be directed to stand in the unit, and a glass door will be closed in front of them." In addition to Denver, the Transportation Security Administration has begun other similar programs around the country to detect chemical traces on passengers that could alert security officials to possible weapons being carried onto commercial aircraft.
In Denver, the airport's Federal Aviation Security Director Patrick Ahlstrom said the technology "gives us a new ability to test for chemicals on the person." Additionally, the machine will take "the place of some of the other security procedures used inside the checkpoint."At the airport, security officials plan to install the machines at three checkpoints and testing will begin this week. Each of the portals costs roughly $170,000 and in total there are more than 35 airports using 90 of the machines around the country. The TSA began to install more machines in the nation's airports after two women in Russia in 2004 were able to carry powerful bombs onto two planes killing everyone traveling. In addition to new technology, the TSA also uses canine units with specially trained federal security handlers. The dogs are trained to find explosives in the cabins, cargo holds, cockpits, and overhead storage bins of airlines. "The teams also practice searching luggage and a parking lot filled with cars, trucks, vans and buses." Meanwhile, in similar news, European Parliament officials have moved to halt the flow of passenger information from airports in the Union to United States Homeland Security officials the BBC reported. The European Court of Justice has ruled the transfer of data illegal and said that they believed the US could use the information for things other than terrorism. "The Court ruled that there was no legal basis for the [European] Commission's decision to declare the US data protection regime "adequate", the British news service reported. The transfer of information to US security officials will continue until September. After that, if found to be illegal by the Court of Justice's standards, the information will stop and European travelers will have to undergo advanced security screening upon entering US territory.
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