Reported by: Leslie Coursey
November 21, 2011
As the holiday travel season heats up, so does airport security. Federal Security Director Edward Goodwin said Monday at JIA, "We know that commercial aviation is still a top terrorist threat. The threat is real and evolving."
As a result, TSA technology is evolving as well. The agency unveiled its newest screening software called "Automated Target Recognition," or ATR.
Here's how it works. A passenger steps in to the already existing imaging machines, lifts his or her arms, and if they trigger the machine, when they come out the other side they see a generic outline of their body and yellow markers of where an object could be. They see a generic image, instead of the body specific images that were making passengers so uncomfortable. If they don't trigger the machine, they get a green "OK" screen in a matter of seconds.
Goodwin said it, "Safely screens passengers for both metallic and non-metallic threats including weapons and explosives without physical contact to keep the traveling public safe."
Passenger Helen Lintala passed through the ATR with no complaints. "It was not invasive at all. I didn't feel violated in any way shape or form," she said.
Traveler Donald Miller agreed, "As long as it makes it more secure, actually its very fast going through these lines."
The new security scan got no complaints from passengers at JIA. The TSA says the software is designed to increase efficiency at security checkpoints, while making passengers feel as comfortable as possible.
Goodwin said, "With the installation of the new software, we're able to employ state of the art technology while certainly taking into privacy concerns of the passengers to the next level."
The software is now being used at 78 airports nationwide, including JIA.