The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, began testing advanced explosives detection technology Tuesday as part of the agency's new security program.
During the three-week pilot program, TSA will conduct explosives screening on passengers boarding the Staten Island Ferry at the St. George Terminal in Staten Island using passive millimeter-wave screening equipment.
The purpose of the project, called the Security Enhancement and Capabilities Augmentation Program (SEACAP), is to test the performance of new technologies to detect explosives while maintaining efficient passenger operations for high volume commuter ferries.
Because the technology does not use whole body imaging, privacy issues will not be a concern. Testing will occur Monday through Friday during off-peak hours.
Video images of the scanned passengers will be monitored by TSA's transportation security officers (TSOs) from a station set up to the side of the waiting area.
The TSOs in the monitoring station will be in communication with roving TSOs and will notify them of any passengers who display an anomaly.
An abbreviated pat down area will be available for resolution of those anomalies and TSA-certified explosive detection canine teams will be available to screen passengers' baggage.