Logan International Airport, today, received approval for a permanent inline 100% hold baggage screening plan, paving the way for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to purchase, install and operate an airport-wide checked luggage screening system. Due to federal law signed by President George W. Bush in November 2001, the responsibility for screening baggage has moved from the airlines and the FAA to the newly created TSA.
"After months of lobbying the Transportations Security Administration and the Department of Transportation and all of us working hard to make Massachusetts safer in this post 9-11 world, the TSA has responded by approving the first in the nation, 100% screening of baggage at Logan Airport," said Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA). "Logan is the hub of our export-based, ideas-driven economy and this decision by the TSA is an important step to return public confidence in air travel into and out of the Bay State."
"Congress handed TSA the ball on baggage screening. TSA has thrown the pitch and we've hit the ball, now we're headed to first base. Making contact with the ball is an individual effort, but scoring a run is a team effort and that's why I pledge to continue the good work that we've started with the Congress, the Governor, Mayor Menino, and the federal government," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy, who traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to meet with Congressional leaders and DOT and TSA staff.
Massport developed Logan's 100% bag screening program in conjunction with the TSA and a design and construction team consisting of DMJM+Harris and AMEC Construction Management, Inc. Several Massport security consultants, including Rafi Ron's New Age Aviation Security and Counter Technology Incorporated (CTI), reviewed and approved the plan.
The luggage screening plan calls for an inline system built in enhanced and expanded baggage handling rooms throughout the airport. This design allows the TSA to install and operate the explosive detection system without decreasing the public space available to passengers in the airport terminals. The project provides a permanent solution integrated with airline and airport operations and avoids any temporary or make-shift design or procedures to achieve 100% checked luggage screening. The design and construction costs for Massport are estimated at $100 million; this figure does not include the purchase and installation of the explosive detection machines that will be covered by the TSA.
During a peak hour, the airlines at Logan handle up to 5,000 pieces of luggage. As designed, the inline 100% bag screening system will accommodate present and future capacity.
In preparation for new federal guidelines and requirements, Massport hosted a two-day infrastructure security seminar in January 2002 with 100 participants from nearly 20 U.S. airports, the FAA, and several construction and security firms. The seminar focused on incorporating federally mandated security initiatives in the design and construction of existing and new airport facilities.