Well done, GE!
Posted on May 22nd, 2009 at 2:59 pm by Mutt

An article in today’s NYT details why the “puffers” have been canceled.

Personally, I’m glad to hear it.  I was screened with one once, and it was a strangely invasive experience.

Here’s the article in its  entirety:

An Airport Screening Program Is Killed
Published: May 21, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is scrapping a post-Sept. 11, 2001, airport screening program because the machines did not operate as intended and cost too much to maintain.

The so-called puffer machines were deployed to airports in 2004 to screen randomly selected passengers for bombs after they cleared the standard metal detectors. The machines take 17 seconds to check a passenger and can analyze particles as small as one-billionth of a gram.

They also break down when exposed to dirt or humidity, theTransportation Security Administration said in a statement Thursday. Since 2005, maintaining the machines has cost the government more than $6 million.

Ninety-four of the machines were deployed to 37 airports in 2004, and the government had planned to deploy 113 more. Because of the performance problems, however, the government decided not to continue the rollout.