In the last four months of 2002, workers at airports from Alaska to Florida raced against a Dec. 31 deadline to install explosive detection systems (EDS) in compliance with new federal security regulations following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And that’s just the beginning.

CHECKED Every airport in the U.S. has screening machines, but many may relocate them.
(Photo courtesy of Turner)

Now, "we want to move it all into the baggage claim level and get it out of the lobbies," says Bruce Mills, police chief for Austin-Bergstrom Airport. With the Dec. 31 deadline met, the Boeing-led team that installed the EDS systems is now helping airports consider redesigns. "We’re hearing about integrations with long-term plans" in working with 52 airports, says Hunter Fulghum, manager of business development for New York City based Turner Construction’s homeland security unit.

"The scope of the project will be different," notes Christian E. Jahrling, general manager of homeland security for Turner, which manages site preparation for Chicago-based Boeing. Other team members include Siemens Corp., Leigh Fisher Associates, TRW, CAGE Inc., Leo A Daly and DMJM Aviation.

With no specific deadline now, "people are spending more time on options and designs," notes Jahrling. "The biggest single challenge is [making the decision to] do a major reconfiguration or completely rip out and replace" airport infrastructure for permanent placement of the machines. At airports such as San Jose, Calif., where a new concourse is being planned, "there’ll be a new EDS solution," Jahrling says.


The Transportation Security Administration awarded the $508-million contract to the Boeing team in June 2002 (ENR 6/17 p. 11). The contract includes five one-year renewal options worth $862 million for a potential total value of $1.37 billion, says Fernando Vivanco, Boeing spokesman. The team is now in its first one-year renewal phase.

By Dec. 31, Boeing’s team had installed 900 EDS machines weighing up to 117,000 lb at 447 airports as well as 5,500 explosive trace detection machines. Team members assessed each airport’s building codes, layouts, passenger flows and other factors. "We made 2,800 estimates in four months," says Jahrling.

Situations ranged from building separate screening rooms in Minneapolis-St. Paul to moving ticket counters in Detroit so crews could place the machines behind them. Accessibility at small airports, power capacity at some major ones and weather ranging from snowstorms to tropical storms all challenged the team.

Earlier this month, the Dept. of Homeland Security began signing letters of intent with airports to reimburse them 75% in the next four years for EDS-related costs. One of those is Boston’s Logan Airport, which spent $146 million on permanent infrastructure. The machines don’t need to be moved, but "a lot of other security-related work is keeping us busy," says Director of Capital Programs Christopher Gordon.