NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new machine at the Niagara Falls International airport uses millimeter wave advanced imaging technology on travelers.
“A metal detector is detecting metal, but this can detect non-metallic threats say liquid explosives or plastic explosives, or a plastic knife,” said Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson.
It uses target recognition software, and shows a “cookie cutter” image of a passenger on a monitor. If there’s no threat, the screen turns green. But if there is, bright yellow boxes appear on the areas of an alarm so officers know exactly where to check.
“So it saves a passenger from having to have a full body pat down, so that’s great.Tthe other advantage is that if you’ve got a hip replacement or a knee replacement then what happens is it’s not going to alarm, because that would alarm the metal detector,” said Farbstein.
Officials say the machine not only makes the screening process less intrusive, but also more efficient.
As passenger traffic grows at the Niagara Falls airport, there are greater requirements to meet to process travelers.
“The Niagara Falls Airport has been growing steadily since this terminal opened in 2009. Spirit and Allegiant are growing in the double digits every year,” said Pascal Cohen, NFTA Senior Marketing Manager.
Cohen says the airport had to meet certain passenger levels before the TSA could allocate the resources.
“It is something that can detect things that are between your skin and your clothing. Uses millimeter wave to bounce off your skin and your clothing in case something is being concealed,” said Farbstein.
The screening technology is safe for all travelers. It meets national and international health and safety standard and chances are you’ve already used it at a larger airport where the technology has already been up and running.