Stimulus to bring body scanners to airports
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The U.S. government is using $25 million in stimulus money to buy and install full body scanners in airports this year, in an effort to ramp up security and create jobs.
The Transportation Security Administration is using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase 150 of the full body scanners, according to TSA spokeswoman Sarah Horowitz.
These “backscatter” scanners, which use X-rays to provide detailed images of hidden objects in or under a person’s clothing, are manufactured by Rapiscan, a subsidiary of Hawthorn, Calif.-based OSI (OSIS). The scanners cost from $150,000 to $180,000 apiece, according to the company.
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Peter Kant, vice president of global government affairs for Rapiscan, said his company received a $25 million contract from the TSA to produce the 150 backscatter scanners. The contract has helped create 25 jobs, mostly manufacturing positions in the company’s Ocean Springs, Miss. facility, as well as some engineering jobs, he said.
Horowitz would not specify how much money had been earmarked for TSA spending on scanners, but she said the agency has enough funds that would come from the stimulus program and other federal sources to buy an additional 300 scanners.
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 10:45 am