Airport Security Screens Passengers Using
Checking baggage for explosives hasn't been a problem. Airport security can put bags in x-ray machines, open them up to look inside, or use advanced technology that can detect traces of chemicals often used in explosives.
But checking people's bodies is not so easy. A TSA initiative that began last September to rigorously frisk more people led to dozens of sexual harassment complaints. So TSA turned to technology installing what looks like a longer, more complex walk-through metal detectors in nine airports around the country.
Jose Ralls is the TSA director from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Jose Ralls: The machine actually will talk to the individual, tell them to stand inside and wait, and as soon as they are cleared, it will tell them to proceed.
From a distance, Mr. Ralls watches one airport passenger go through the process.
Jose Ralls: Now he knows to go on through, and he just waits, and as soon as the air is analyzed he will be allowed to proceed forward.
The machine blasts air downward and across the whoever inside the portal. Mr. Ralls says that often startles people.
Jose Ralls: That is why our people are out there, to explain to them the noise that they will be hearing.
The way it's supposed to work is that suspicious particles on clothing and exposed skin are blasted toward the floor -- where, within seven seconds, the machine can detect 40 types of explosives. If any are found, security is alerted.
According to the manufacturer, Smith Detection, the portals also have less than 1% error rate. Company vice president Mark Lastra says this technology is commonly used elsewhere.
Smith Detection: Mostly in highly controlled facilities, such as nuclear power plants and government buildings with high security needs.
Along with increasing security, the TSA hopes to cut down on passenger wait times. It is collecting data from the airports in the test phase to see if the machines are faster and more efficient than human inspectors.
The Transportation Security Administration plans to deploy five more of these portals elsewhere in the nation by late spring. Eventually it would like the explosive detectors to be as common as metal detectors.
I am Ky Plaskon in Las Vegas.
explosive [iks5plEusiv] n. 爆炸物，炸药
rigorously [5ri^ErEs] adv. 严格的，严厉的
frisk [frisk] n. 搜身
harassment [5hArEsmEnt] n. 折磨
manufacturer [7mAnju5fAktFErE] n. 厂商，制造者