Monday, May 08, 2006

"SECURITY: Screener promises safer airports"

U.S. airports have invested billions in security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Still, the Government Accountability Office managed to sneak bomb-making components onto planes at 21 U.S. airports--every one it tested--over a recent four-month period. Now, an Israeli technology called CarrySafe has been licensed to a U.S. company that insists it could have detected those bomb-making components with 100 percent accuracy. In the security trial, conducted from last October until January, GAO investigators were able to smuggle explosives past screeners in their carry-on luggage in 21 out of the 21 U.S. airports. TraceGuard Technologies Inc. (New York), says its CarrySafe would have detected traces from every one of those carry-on bags. CarrySafe is a retrofit that collects traces of explosives that it passes to existing analysis equipment. Instead of manually swabbing a bag and putting the swab into an analyzer, hoping the single swabbed spot had residue on it, CarrySafe automatically collects residue from every part of the luggage. Originally designed to screen air cargo, CarrySafe wraps an active membrane around bags to detect trace amounts of explosives TraceTrack Technology Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) has developed the technology for seven years, then last year licensed it to TraceGuard Technologies Inc., a U.S. corporation. The Israeli Security Agency is certifying CarrySafe for use in Israeli airports, and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is expected to follow suit with certification in early 2007 for use in U.S. airports.