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Checkpoint scanner installation to create delays at Fargo airport

The Transportation Security Administration will begin installing the machines starting July 5, and the work will finish on July 22,

Hector International Airport
Hector International Airport.
Forum file photo
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FARGO — Travelers flying out of Hector International Airport may see delays and longer lines at the security checkpoint while a new Homeland Security project is underway this summer.

Preparations to install new “state-of-the-art” 3D imaging scanners have already begun, but the Transportation Security Administration will begin installing the machines starting July 5, and the work will finish on July 22, said Shawn Dobberstein, Airport Authority executive director.

“They’re trying to standardize all the units in the state of North Dakota. We actually started the project a few weeks ago to move the walls out,” Dobberstein said.

Lanes may be closed during the installation process, a TSA press release reported.

Dobberstein said the construction may cause longer waiting periods, but the airport’s main concern is passenger safety.

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“With the addition of this technology, we feel we are offering Fly Fargo travelers the best security solution, which also means convenience and efficiency,” he said in a press release.

The equipment will create clear images of a bag’s contents and will be able to automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt.

“Along with providing critical explosives detection capabilities, this new technology improves the ability for our TSA officers to determine whether an item inside a carry-on bag is a possible threat,” said David Durgan, North Dakota TSA federal security director, in the press release.

The result will give TSA officers a three-dimensional view of contents of any carry-on bag, the press release reported.

Travelers are asked to wear masks, which are optional; pack smart; prepare for delays and follow liquid rules of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizers; contact TSA for assistance; and enroll into a pre-checking program.

C.S. Hagen is an award-winning journalist currently covering the education and activist beats mainly in North Dakota and Minnesota.
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