TSA Updates Industry on Next-Gen Airport Screening System

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offered potential industry partners an update on the ongoing contract competition for its next-generation airport security system, known as the Checkpoint Property Screening System (CPSS).

Under the CPSS program, TSA will install advanced screening devices at passenger checkpoints at airports nationwide, replacing the prior generation of X-ray scanners. The system uses a technology called computed tomography to generate a three-dimensional image of scanned luggage and its contents. This will enable TSA officers to spot dangerous concealed objects, such as weapons or explosives, without requiring passengers to remove electronics or food from carry-on bags. The CPSS will not only improve airport security, but also reduce the time it takes passengers to pass through security checkpoints, according to a TSA document.

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The TSA issued two requests for proposal for the CPSS program in early April: one for the base-size scanner and one for the full-size model. Officials followed up with statements of work for the base-size and full-size models on April 16. The agency plans to issue a single-award basic ordering agreement (BOA) for each model, expected to generate more than $100 million over the life of the contract, according to an April 21 industry briefing.

The briefing states CPSS will use “an incremental approach” to deploy new capabilities, such as machine learning, image recognition, and other emerging technologies, to detect threats automatically and reduce the burden on TSA personnel. “CPSS equipment,” the briefing adds, “must be capable of evolving and accommodating” hardware and software upgrades necessary to respond to emerging threats.

The winning bidder or bidders will be tasked with delivering 15 systems to airports around the country, with options to supply as many as 410 more. Winning contractors will also be responsible for providing program management services, maintenance, and logistics support. TSA officials will evaluate bids according to offerors’ technical capabilities — detection capabilities, speed, and reliability — as well as past performance and pricing. The deadline to submit proposals is June 30.

To contact the analyst on this story: Chris Cornillie in Washington at ccornillie@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Clark at mclark@ic.bloombergindustry.com

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