The holiday travel season of 2010 has come and gone and thanks to our hard working officers and prepared passengers, travelers were able to move through our checkpoints smoothly and uneventfully. Some are saying this is due to TSA turning off Advanced Imaging Technology machines(AIT).Just as I said after Opt Out day, this is not the case and there may be several reasons somebody might think this.
First off, everybody is not necessarily screened by AIT. I think people need to understand that TSA operates out of 450 + airports. Of these 450 + airports, 78 currently have AIT. There are a total of 486 machines in the field right now. (We’re working quickly to deploy more units to the field - above and beyond the 486).
Even at airports with AIT machines, they are not yet deployed at all checkpoint lanes.
At times, machines could be shut down for routine maintenance, or maintenance issues.
If the technology just arrived at the airport, it's possible passengers would see a unit in the checkpoint but not in use. Several things have to happen before we can start using them, they have to be installed, tested and we have to fully train officers on how to use the technology.
After reading comments around the web from travelers, I learned that some saw the machines in action and some didn’t. That sounds about right to me.