GE and L-3 Land Major EDS Contracts with TSA

The Transportation Security Administration has placed a substantial order for a new batch of explosives detections systems, and manufacturers GE and L-3 communications were the prime beneficiaries.

The order calls for 43 CTX 9000DSi EDS from GE's InVision. GE's order, which requires the machines be delivered by the end of 2005, has a value at almost $52 million. The order with L-3 Communications is for 32 of the company's new eXaminer 6000 systems, with delivery scheduled for spring 2006. That contract was valued at over $28 million.

"This explosives detection technology will be installed in airports currently constructing in-line permanent baggage screening systems with the assistance of funding from TSA," said Rear Adm. David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), assistant secretary of Homeland Security for TSA in a Friday statement. "The implementation of an in-line system will increase efficiencies and boost TSA's ability to provide world-class customer service and world-class security."

Currently, a number of U.S. airports require that travelers, after visiting the ticket counter to check in for their flight, drop the luggage off at a nearby EDS station in the terminal lobby, rather than put it directly on the luggage conveyor systems. The purchase of the machines, which will be used in the in-line systems, should help in the relocation of EDS baggage screening from the lobbies of terminals to centrally located baggage screening areas in the airports.

The order of the 43 GE machines is part of TSA's Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity with GE InVision. The contract, which last for three years, allows for order of machines, parts and engineering services for the machines. Currently, the TSA estimates that more than 800 of GE's explosive detections systems are used at U.S. airports.

Admiral Stone added that the TSA has nine in-line checked baggage EDS systems operating, with two more unders construction.