TSA explains technology used to protect MIA travelers

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - The Transportation Security Administration at Miami International Airport gave 7News a behind-the-scenes look at the sophisticated technology used to keep travelers safe.

More than 34 million travelers walk through scanners and undergo security screenings at South Florida’s two largest airports every year. The TSA is constantly updating it’s security vetting and technology to spot the latest threats.

TSA Sari Koshetz said, “We know there’s always an evolving threat. We know there’s a determined enemy, and therefore we are determined to stay ahead of those evolving threats.”

Advanced Imaging Technology Units, or full body scanners, are used to reduce the amount of times full-body pat-downs are needed, according to Koshetz.

“So the machine uses harmless, electromagnetic waves to generate this generic image and to detect if you have anything hidden under your clothing,” she said.

Full body pat-downs have drawn mixed reviews from travelers.

“I have never been pat down. I’m not even fond of holding my arms up and having a machine go around me,” said passenger Denice Kirk who is traveling to Ohio. “I guess it’s what we have to do to be safe.”

Alick Tirton who is traveling from Trinidad and Tobago said, “They are just doing their jobs. Because I have a metal in my knee, if that thing ring, they are supposed to check and see I’m telling the truth, right?”

Every day, more than 46,000 checked bags go through screenings at MIA via a machine that gives a CAT scan and uses algorithms to spot potential threats.

“Any medical exempts, like breast milk or any type of medication in a liquid form, we do have a machine to screen it so that the passenger can go ahead and take those liquids with them,” said TSA Daniel Tavares.

Whether it’s a machine to spot liquid explosives or K-9 dogs to sniff out bombs, the TSA said they are working to give travelers peace of mind while in the air.

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