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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) teams showed up at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport Tuesday evening with an AIT-2, the official term for what has come to be known as the “body scanner.”

“Plans to acquire one of the newest tools in the security toolbox began in March,” said Stephanie Morgan, Airport Manager.  “Customers told us they much preferred the automated scanning system over the traditional pat-downs.”

Knowing that, Airport Authority Board put increased emphasis on enhancing the customers’ travel experience through the local airport with a four-phase plan, the first of which was to organize the queuing process with modern, attractive Plexiglas dividers and stanchions.  The second phase, enlarging and opening up the security checkpoint room and improving the heating and air conditioning system was largely complete by the end of September.

Phase 3 was finished Thursday morning when technicians finished calibrating the machine, working through two midnight shifts to keep from interrupting airline operations.  TSA agents will spend some time training with the equipment before it’s put on line.  Once there, the AIT-2 will it speed up the screening process and substantially reduce the number of “pat-downs.”

Phase four will provide secure passengers much more elbow room, and though specific plans have yet to be announced, goals are to make the adjustments in time for the holiday travel season.

The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport provides quick, cost-effective, convenient air service for North Central Idaho, Southeastern Washington, and Northeastern Oregon.  Daily flights are available to Seattle, Boise, and Salt Lake City with connections anywhere in the world.