News Release

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TSA Upgrades Screening Equipment at Peoria International Airport

Peoria, IL— The Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria (MAAP) is pleased to announce that the Transportation Security Administration is upgrading the passenger screening equipment it will use at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA). TSA will begin installation of an Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanner in the screening checkpoint on October 11, 2011. The project is expected to take three evenings to complete.

The AIT machine slated for PIA is the latest version, with new software that displays a generic image indicating where further screening should take place. This new machine is a step forward from the older machines that displayed more explicit images. In addition, the new AIT will use millimeter wave technology using radio waves, rather than the older technology that used weak x-rays. The new millimeter wave technology being installed at PIA is thousands of times weaker than the energy emitted by mobile phones. The rollout of TSA’s AIT machines began in 2007, but was accelerated by the attempted bombing of a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day, 2009 by an individual with explosives hidden in his underwear.

“This upgrade is great news for our passengers, especially frequent business travelers,” stated Gene Olson, PIA Director of Airports. “Many people, especially those with artificial hips or other medical devices, prefer this technology because it is faster and less invasive than a pat-down. Travelers who prefer not to use the AIT machines may still opt for a pat-down if they alarm in the metal detectors.”

For more information, contact Gene Olson, Director of Airports, MAAP at (309)697-8272, ext. 100 and golson@flypia.com, or Jim Fotenos, TSA Public Affairs at (773)766-6941 and James.Fotenos@dhs.gov.

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