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

Play Video

WESTON - The Habitat for Humanity of Wausau celebrated a big milestone on Saturday. The organization held the grand opening for its new Recycled Building Materials facility.

The new building is a place where people can go to buy new and used building materials. For the grand opening, there was face painting for kids, free hot dogs, and even a visit from Woody Woodchuck.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - During the summer Northland Pines High School is being used as the home base for a foreign exchange program. 

The Northwoods Adventure Quest Program brings students from China and America together.

 Last year travel rules stopped the program from happening, but this year the students and organizers are more driven than ever to keep their mission going. 

"You get to form relationships with people from around the world," said 10- year- old Chase Neubauer. 

This is Neubauer's first time joining the two week Adventure Quest Program. 

The goal of the program is to do more than just keep kids busy during the summer. 

"[It] promotes connections with Wisconsin especially the Northern part [of Wisconsin with] all of China," said WISP Executive Director Xiaodong Kuang.

Kuang is one the organizers of the quest program. He couldn't think of a better way of promoting his goal than starting with young students. 

"[So that] the young generation, who will be the future leaders of the world, [can] appreciate cultures and know more about each other," said Kuang. 

This is Power Liu's first time coming to America with the program. 

+ Read More

THREE LAKES - One teenager decided to spend a day giving back to the Three Lakes community 18-year-old Maxwell Blanchard lives in L.A but always makes it back to Three Lakes during the summer. 

Blanchard learned how to water ski and wakeboard in Three Lakes at five years old. 

On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.

"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard. 

Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."

 Kylee Swendson decided to help Blanchard this year with the lessons. 

"It's great for everybody to get a chance to learn especially people who don't get the opportunity every day," said Swendson. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDDER - Most people who kayak will go out for a few hours and cover several miles. But one southwestern Wisconsin man is trying to cover more than 400 miles as fast as possible.

Ben Sasse is from Muscoda and is trying to break the speed record for paddling the Wisconsin River.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - In June, the Rhinelander City Council approved a fenced-in dog park at Shepard Park. It's something Tina Werres has been working towards for the last 10 years.

On Saturday, about 30 volunteers gathered at Shepard Park to clean up the south end of the park.

The fence is scheduled to be put up in about three weeks so Werres wanted to get the area cleaned up as soon as possible.

+ Read More

Play Video

MANITOWISH WATERS - "When you have something like this everybody turns a little bit Irish," said Irish Fest volunteer Ron Troller.

Ye Olde Shillelagh in Manitowish Waters hosted its Second Annual Irish Festival this weekend. The big draw for the volunteers and attendees is the music.

"Who doesn't like professional Irish music," said Troller.

+ Read More

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
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here