On February 6, United States Ambassador Candace Bond officially donated four explosive trace detection (ETD) machines to the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) on behalf of the US Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) at Piarco International Airport.
The ETD devices, manufactured by Smiths Detection, will streamline security screening for passengers by improving and speeding up detection of suspected explosives in carry-on baggage. The devices are each about as large as a standard printer. The embassy says each is valued at US$50,000 for a total donation of US$200,000.
Since 2021, TSA has donated aviation security equipment to increase the technical screening capacity of security partners within Trinidad and Tobago. TSA worked with the US Department of State Counterterrorism Bureau and the US Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) to identify, procure, and deliver two Advanced Image Technology (AIT) scanners (“body scanners”) in 2021. Each AIT is valued at US$200,000. TSA also provides training for local security officers to use the technology. The scanners have improved transportation security for the traveling public.
Ambassador Bond said, “This security enhancement will minimize threats to transportation security and upgrade the overall screening experience for passengers. I am delighted we can roll this out just at the start of the increased commercial travel period during Carnival, and that the benefits to travelers to and from Trinidad and Tobago will last for years to come.”
Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan was on hand to personally thank the United States Embassy for the donation: “The Airport Authority/Piarco International Airport and the A N R Robinson International Airport, and the security services of the United States of America, have always worked very closely. And we intend to continue that. We have always welcomed your support.
“Thank you, Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, thank you Civil Aviation Authority, thank you TSA, and thank you to the United States of America, the government of the United States of America for all your support.”