New scan technology in use at FD airport

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Rhonda Chambers, director of aviation, shows off the latest checkpoint screening technology at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport, recently.

The latest checkpoint screening technology is in use at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

AIT-2 next-generation technology screens passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing.

AIT stands for Advanced Imaging Technology.

The screening is done without physical contact.

The TSA began using the technology in Fort Dodge about a week ago.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Rhonda Chambers, director of aviation, demonstrates how the new screening technology at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport is used.

Fort Dodge was the first of the other six Iowa commercial service airports to have the new smaller AIT-2 units installed.

The Des Moines International Airport and the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids have the larger AIT-1 units.

In addition to software upgrades that enable the detection of smaller objects, AIT-2 systems take up less space than the original AIT-1 units.

“Advanced imaging technology is an important tool in detecting current and evolving threats,” David Dailey, TSA’s federal security director for Iowa, said. “We are pleased to offer this technology to passengers flying out of Fort Dodge.”

All AIT units have automated target recognition software, designed to enhance privacy.

This is done by eliminating passenger-specific images, while streamlining the checkpoint screening process.

That means the system generates the same generic image for all passengers, regardless of gender, height or weight.

“As a smaller commercial service airport, we are truly grateful to have this new technology installed at our airport,” Rhonda Chambers, director of aviation, said. “The AIT-2 will provide our passengers with an improved screening experience and reduce the need for pat down searches.”

Advanced Imaging Technology is equipped with millimeter wave technology, which uses electromagnetic waves to perform a single scan.

The technology meets all known national and international health and safety standards.

The energy emitted by the millimeter wave technology is 1,000 times less than the international limits and guidelines, the TSA said.

A total of 735 AIT-1 systems and 85 AIT-2 systems have been deployed at 215 airports.

TSA began using Advanced Imaging Technology in 2008.