ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT SECURITY UPGRADE AT PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
PITTSBURGH (July 10, 2007)—Passengers will soon be able to enjoy quicker and more convenient check-in procedures at Pittsburgh International Airport. The Allegheny County Airport Authority has launched an $18 million project to install new Explosive Detection Systems (EDS) into the automated baggage system used by US Airways. This in-line screening system will be staffed by TSA screeners and housed in a new 21,000 square foot building located at the north end of the former E-gates terminal.
The new equipment will make it easier for passengers traveling on US Airways to have their checked luggage screened for explosives. Once the system is in place, checked bags will move directly from the ticket counter to the screening equipment and then to the airplane. Right now, passengers have to check their luggage at the US Airways ticket counter and then carry it over to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) screening equipment at a different location. Once the new system is completed, airline ticket agents will tag baggage and place it on the belt behind the counter while passengers proceed freely to the security checkpoint.
“This improvement is part of a comprehensive security upgrade project at Pittsburgh International Airport. For that reason alone this is an important step forward, but this is also a major improvement to the passenger experience,” said Kent G. George, Executive Director, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
“The enhanced baggage handling system automates the manual process of screening all checked baggage for potential explosives,” said ACAA Project Manager Paul Hoback “The system links EDS machines that check baggage for potential threats. The bags are then safely transported to their respective outgoing planes.”
A similar system was installed in 2005 on the south end of ticketing for the other airlines at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The majority of the funding will come from the Airport Authority, with $3 to $4 million coming from a TSA grant. The system is expected to be operational by Thanksgiving 2008 in time for the busy holiday travel season.