Bomb Sniffing Devices Coming to America's Airports
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A plastic wand with a cotton swab on the end will be run over passenger's hands, and then scanned by a machine to detect the presence of explosive residue. The tests will be done at all commercial airports, in Fresno, even Visalia and Merced.
This is all because of failed underwear bomb attack on Christmas day. The suspect managed to conceal high explosives and nearly blew up a commercial airliner. In Fresno Former Commercial Pilot and Aviation Industry Executive Kent Scott said the sniffers are not a bad idea.
"I'm glad to see we're keeping up with some things and certainly the chemical sniffing devices are very sophisticated and that will help and it would have helped in the Christmas debacle." Scott said.
The sniffing devices have already been used on luggage, but now, they will be getting personal. Passengers we spoke with at the Fresno Airport didn't seem to mind.
Alonzo Cabel of Oakland said, "I don't mind at all, anything you have to do to make everybody safer."
Ed Gaines of Clovis agreed, "Not a problem. Not a problem. My hands probably need to be wiped anyway."
But, the TSA acknowledges the machines aren't perfect. For example, some household products, fertilizers, even heart medications can leave residue that could lead to false positives. And, if the bomber wears gloves or never actually touches the chemicals in the bomb they may not be detected.
Scott said the other danger is that while security is enhanced, terrorists will simply move on to other methods.
"But there are a lot more entry ports for people to do bad things to us than just walking through security and getting on an airplane and that's what concerns me," said Scott.
The chemical hand sniffers are the latest thing, and they should be installed in Fresno during the first part of next week.
safety, fresno, visalia, merced, local, gene haagenson
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