The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has installed the GE EntryScan3 walk-through explosives detector to screen passengers at Boston Logan Airport's Terminal A security checkpoint.
The GE EntryScan3, which is popularly known as the "Puffer Machine," has already been deployed to dozens of high-risk facilities worldwide to help detect explosives. Later this spring, GE will introduce its ShoeScanner, which will enable travelers to keep their shoes on during security screening but check footwear for dangerous substances.
In March, the TSA announced that it would also purchase nine GE EntryScan3 machines for use in U.S. airports. TSA has allocated $28.3 million to purchase and install an additional 147 trace portals. TSA is currently developing a purchase and deployment plan to have the equipment in airports by January 2006.
Currently GE EntryScan3 trace portals are installed at passenger security checkpoints at airports in Boston, Mass.; Miami, Fla.; San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Providence, R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Gulfport, Miss. An installation in Los Angeles International Airport is expected before the end of May.
The GE EntryScan3 detects microscopic traces of explosives and identifies potential threats to security screeners. Passengers stand in the trace portal for a few seconds while several "puffs" of air are released. The EntryScan3 then analyzes the air for traces of explosives and a computerized voice will tell the passenger when to exit.