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RadiationIn an effort to scan all air cargo with radiation detection technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to install radiation portal monitors (RPMs) at the top 30 U.S. airports by 2014. The rollout began in September with the installation of an RPM at Washington Dulles International Airport; the next likely recipients are Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. 

CBP is installing the RPMs in response to Section 121 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006, which directed CBP to deploy radiation detection capabilities to all U.S. Ports of Entry." CBP has already installed RPMs at all U.S. land borders and virtually all seaports, and is now directing its attention to airports. 

CBP officials say that most air cargo shipments domestic and international - will be required to undergo RPM scanning, and that they are attempting to install and operate the RPMs in a manner that will not impede the flow of cargo. To accomplish this, CBP may have to install more than one RPM per airport (Dulles currently has only one). CBP plans to pay for the RPMs from its appropriations. 

In a letter to stakeholders (click here), CBP Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations Thomas Winkowski provides more details about CBPs planned deployment. TIACA members with questions about this initiative should contact Sue Presti, TIACAs representative in Washington, DC, at