New Security Scanners At Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/13/02

New Security Scanners At Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport

New security scanners are in place at Gulfport-Biloxi international airport. The high tech equipment is designed to detect explosives in checked luggage.

It's the latest requirement from the new Transportation Security Administration.

The checked baggage scan was a new experience for Kathleen Mercer. She was heading home to Houston and didn't seem to mind the extra few moments for security's sake.

"It's brand new. But I think they have it in line. They've got it organized. They did a great job," said Mercer.

The eight scanning stations are designed to detect the smallest amounts of chemicals that might be used in explosives. They'll detect even tiny amounts of nitro glycerin, which is used in many heart medicines.

The system also includes a random search of luggage.

Patrick Baroco is the federal deputy security director in charge of the system.

"So no terrorist could begin to figure out the system. There is no way a terrorist would have any idea that his bag or her bag might be fully opened or just traced on the outside," explained Boroco.

We found Lynn Jackson asking about the check point before she boarded her flight to Canada. She understands the stepped up security.

"It's a good idea. No problem. They can take all the time they want," she said.

Increased security is obviously the number one goal of the new system. But customer convenience is a strong second. The Transportation Security Administration understands the importance of making the traveling public comfortable with the new check point.

There will be more space for the screening stations in the future. The airport will take bids next year on a major expansion of the terminal.

By Steve Phillips

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