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Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Subcommittee: Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss what we can and should do today to make the travelling public more secure from bomb attack. Let me begin by introducing myself and my associate. I am John Paderson, Sales and Marketing Manager for ION TRACK INSTRUMENTS INC. During the past 15 years, I have been involved in the development and application of security systems to protect against a variety of threats, including bombings. Joining me today is Mr. Anthony Jenkins, who was one of the first scientists to develop a practical explosives detector and is a leading authority in the field. He is also, I am pleased to say, our Group Technical Director. It should be noted that Mr. Jenkins developed his first explosive detector almost 20 years ago at the request of the British Government in response to the Northern Ireland situation. Explosives detection is not a new science but has been a commercial industry for the past almost 20 years. ITI Explosives Detectors, in wide use today, could be helpful in detecting approximately 99% of the domestic high explosive threat and approximately 84% of the perceived international threat including SEMTEX. ITI Explosives Detectors daily search tens of thousands of people and packages in the U. S. alone.
The U. S. Nuclear Power Industry is required by Federal Law to search every person entering each facility for concealed explosives. 80% of those plants use ITI Walk Thru and Portable
Explosives Detectors. Our own Federal Government, including the
U. S. Navy, the U.S. Army, and the U. S. Department of Energy, are using ITI Explosives Detectors because they perceive the threat to their organizations to be acute. The airline industry today finds itself in the same situation. In the past, the threat was hijackers. Their weapons were knives and guns. Now the new threat is terrorists and criminals and their preferred weapon is the improved explosive device. Bombs are easy to make, easy to conceal and once placed, afford the bomber a high degree of safety and security. The tragic losses of Pan Am Flight 103, Korean Air Flight 858, and Air India Flight 182, to other bomb attacks and the fact that there were 1,831 high explosive bombings in the U. S. between 1976 and 1985, under scores the urgency of the situation.
The x-ray machines and metal detectors currently in use were deployed to counter the hijacking threat. The threat has changed and the effectiveness of the system in meeting this new threat can be greatly improved by the use of commercially available explosives detectors. Looking for a bomb in baggage without an explosives detector is like looking for a gun or knife in that same baggage without an x-ray machine.
Commercially available explosives detectors such as this ITI Portable Instrument (Model 97), and this ITI Walk Thru instrument (Model 85), can significantly enhance the capabilities of what is currently in place. The ITI Portable Instrument (Model 97) was recently tested in cooperation with the FAA at Boston in Logan
Airport. The results show that it can be integrated into the
existing system without the addition of any delay and with less than a l (one) $ false alarm rate. It weighs less than 30 lbs., costs 1/3rd the price of an x-ray machine, is simple to use, and detects explosives in less than 2 seconds. The detection capabilities of this instrument is well documented in tests conducted in 1987 at Baltimore Washington International Airport and at the FBI Academy in 1988.
The ITI Walk Thru Detector (Model 85) is widely used in the U. S. Nuclear Power Industry and protects the Houses of Parliament in London. It can process one person every 6 (six) seconds.
The decision facing the U. S. today is a policy, not a technical decision. The threat is so acute and the consequences so dreadful that we should enhance the capabilities of the current system now by the addition of commercially available instruments such as we have shown you here today.
Deployment of these or any similar instruments does not eliminate the need to continue R & D efforts to find an even better solution. In fact anything that can be done to accelerate new technologies should be done. But at the same time, the research into better solutions should not delay deployment of currently available instruments. Tomorrow's technology is important but our focus must be on what we can do today to enhance the system.
We strongly support the recommendation of the Air Transport
Association that a special appropriation be made from the
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Aviation Trust Fund for the acquisition of explosives detectors. The ATA's estimated $17, 100,000 cost for vapor detectors is sufficient to deploy more than 1400 ITI Portable Explosive Detectors and could equip all U. S. carriers at high-threat airports abroad and at home.
We also recommend that R & D funding be expanded to speed up the progress. ION TRACK INSTRUMENTS INC., as an FAA Research Contractor, has new technology in the laboratory that shows every promise of detecting an even higher percentage of the threat.
In summary, the threat to the Air Transport Industry has changed from hijackings to bombings. Equipment is commercially available which has and will deter the terrorist bomber. What is needed today is:
a. ) A policy decision to use today's tools,
b. ) funds to make that possible, and
c.) increase funding for research.
March 20, 19 FACTSHEET Explosive devices (BOMBS) are TODAY the most alarming threa to the safety of the world's air travelers.
Recent events show a DANGEROUS INCREASING TREND in bombing incidents.
There are NO GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS for bomb detector devic in the U. S. air security program |
Yet, ITI bomb detectors have been protecting people FOR OVE 15 YEARS
Current users of ITI bomb detectors include:
* THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT (10 YEARS)
SEMTEX is believed to be the explosive substance (plastique)
used in the bombing of Pan Am 103, as well as most other recent terrorist incidents.
ITI has successfully detected SEMTEX, the "terrorist's choic
explosive, in EVERY TEST conducted to date, a 100 % success
rate with actual captured samples
AVAILABLE / IN USE TODAY / COST-EFFECTIVE / HIGHLY RELIABLE