Every piece of luggage checked in at Logan International Airport will be screened by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) by a variety of means starting on the morning of January 1st, 2003. In the last six months, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) has built an in-line detection system in 12 new bag handling rooms with 38 explosive detection machines and almost 3 miles of new baggage conveyor belts. These new rooms and equipment will enable the TSA to efficiently screen the thousands of bags that pass through Logan every day. Initially, as the permanent in-line system is tested, the TSA will use various methods in addition to explosive detection machines to screen checked luggage. Massport expects some glitches and problems to arise over the next four weeks as the "shakedown cruise" for this system proceeds.
A key priority was met with the aggressive Massport construction schedule since all screening will take place behind the ticket counters, leaving the terminal lobby space available for passengers.
In June 2002, Logan became the first major airport to have a permanent 100% in-line bag screening plan approved by the TSA. Since then, the Massport team and crews have worked seven-days-a-week to build the infrastructure required for the TSA to meets its Congressionally-mandated deadline for 100% bag screening.
More than 700 workers a day, laboring three shifts a day, completed approximately $146 million worth of construction and installation in less than six months. These men and women from 40 different states and representing almost 20 different unions completed a task that typically would have taken two years.
The new in-line 100% bag screening system ties into the existing baggage system and was designed to handle current and future capacity. Massport expects to be fully reimbursed for the $146 million construction project and so far has received a $30 million down payment from the TSA.