Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport debuts new TSA scannerSubmitted: 05/18/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport debuts new TSA scanner
RHINELANDER - The first steps to board Delta Flight 7414 from Rhinelander to Minneapolis started the same way as usual Thursday morning.  But instead of going through the old metal detector, passengers took a new path after some specific instructions.

"We really knew what to expect," Jean Davidson said, on her way to Phoenix, Arizona.

The TSA put air travelers through the newly installed AIT-2 scanner, which went in May 10.  The machine runs a full-body scan using millimeter wave technology.  It produces a "cookie cutter" outline, which pinpoints any spot where someone might be hiding a weapon or device.


"Anything we can do to keep us safer, we've got to really appreciate it," Davidson said.

The AIT-2 doesn't eliminate, but largely cuts down on the need for pat downs from false positives, like those that appear from replacement joints. Rhinelander's scanner is now one of about 860 AIT units stationed at 258 U.S. airports.

"The screening that they're undergoing is going to be identically the same here in the United States," Wisconsin's TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. "It takes time, it takes the funding and training of our officers, but at some point we'll have a pretty good, 100-percent baseline standard from a technology standpoint regardless of the size of the community the airport's located."

Lendvay says the new scanner emits waves that are 1,000 times less than international energy limits. But it doesn't replace TSA officers altogether. Anytime an item is found, a targeted pat down is still required. In those cases, an officer of the same sex as a passenger will conduct the pat down. Travelers are given the option to go in a secure, private area for the pat down.

"Very difficult [to replace humans]," Lendvay said. "You still need what we consider the human factor of the officer coming in and resolving... This ensures that we're maintaining privacy associated with the screening process."

The TSA says the scanner is more effective and efficient than metal detectors. It only takes three or four seconds to actually scan a passenger. In addition, the device is completely federally funded, coming at no cost to Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

"We're patient, we're glad we have it," Airport Director Joe Brauer said.

Brauer knew smaller terminals like his would need to wait to get this technology, which debuted in 2010. But with an install that only took about an hour, Brauer says safety was instantly upgraded.

"It's good for our travelers, it's good for the airport and it's basically good for aviation," Brauer said.

The scanner marks the start of a new process making the screening at small, "gateway" airports like Rhinelander's better, offering peace of mind to travelers headed to bigger hubs.

"It's the small places [terrorists] can hit, which we don't even expect, so it's very important," Davidson said before boarding her flight.

The TSA is working to get the exact same technology in all commercial airports, regardless of size. The agency expects to only need to update the software, which means the units should last several years.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA - "I just find this place so amazing," said actor Noah Venzke, who is in the 7th grade.

The Campanile Summer Children's Theatre Workshop has been running in Minocqua for 10 years now.

"It's a place to meet new friends, and have new experiences, and try new things," said Venzke.

+ Read More

Play Video

GLEASON - The Third Annual Northern Roundup started Friday in Gleason.

Most of the cars are from the 1950s and 1960s and come in all makes and models. Red Kreyer came all the way from Fennimore in his car. 

"It's a '61 Cadillac Coupe de Ville nicknamed Elvis...[it took] about a two year restoration period," said Kreyer. 

The event is a car show, but the focus isn't on trophies, it's on community.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - A woman went missing last night east of Eagle River, but searchers found her safe early Friday morning.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department got the report of the missing woman just before 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - The tennis courts at Lakeland Union High School usually get filled with students. 

If you stop by the courts during the summer, you'll see a different demographic taking over. 

A group of senior citizens dressed in all white play with wooden tennis rackets to mimic a Wimbledon, tennis game. 

Jerry Sikora never played tennis until the day he decided to get a group together back in 1990. 

"It means a lot to a lot of us that don't do activities that much," said Sikora. 

Since getting the group together for the first time Sikora has gotten a lot of practice. 

He also added about 20 older adults to the team.

 The age range of the players is from the 50s to mid-80s.

"The older you get the smarter you get," said 70-year- old Ted Dasler. 

The group said they only get better with time. 

Sikora said the snowbirds get more practice during warm winters in the south.

"They have no mercy on us when they come back," said Sikora. 

Things can get intense on the court at times, but the friendships and entertainment brings everyone back to play. 

The players said the most important thing is to always have fun. 


+ Read More

Play Video

MARATHON COUNTY - Every year, people travel to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. to pay their respects. But for some, the trip to the wall isn't possible.

That's why Wausau Homes in Rothschild brought the American Veterans Traveling Tribute to Marathon County.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - This weekend the Hodag BMX track on the west side of Rhinelander hosts the Badger State Games.

More than 100 competitors of all ages and skill levels will compete for the fastest times on the recently updated track.

Competitors race bikes on a quarter mile track with several turns, jumps, embankments and moguls.
Track Operator, Rob Deede says they have competitors from age 5 to their mid-fifties.

"So it's a sport for kids of all ages, we also have it broken down based off of skill level, so from the new beginners, novices all the way through the experts who have achieved many wins in their career." Said Deede.

He says the oldest competitor he's seen was in his mid-eighties.

The track was revamped about a year ago to keep up with the changing style of tracks around the country and the world and to accommodate larger events.

He hopes to bring something positive to the community through the BMX club.

Races will take place this evening and the Championship Qualifying races tomorrow afternoon.

Admission is free. 

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A judge says a Wisconsin county is likely violating the U.S. Constitution with its requirement that game developers obtain permits for augmented-reality apps like Pokemon Go to be played in parks.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said in a ruling Thursday that Milwaukee County can't enforce the ordinance for now. The ruling came at the request of Irvine, California-based game developer Candy Lab Inc., which is suing to overturn the rule.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here