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City Gets Stimulus Funds for Airport

Here's the release:


City officials receive training on Recovery Act reporting requirements

Philadelphia, June 15 – U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano today announced approximately $26 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the construction of two new inline baggage handling systems at Philadelphia International Airport—a project designed to infuse the local economy with Recovery Act dollars while increasing security and easing check-in procedures.

"These state-of-the-art baggage screening systems will enhance airport security, streamline check-in procedures for passengers and increase safety for TSA employees," said Secretary Napolitano. "This project injects Recovery Act money into the Philadelphia economy while advancing our Department-wide focus on utilizing the latest science and technology."

Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined Secretary Napolitano as she made the announcement at Philadelphia International Airport with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, and U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy.

"This investment from the Recovery Act is a major boost for Philadelphia International Airport and the 90,000 passengers who use the airport every day," said Mayor Nutter. "Today's announcement is another welcome injection of funds into our regional economy and a demonstration of the Obama Administration's commitment to getting the economy moving and putting Americans to work."

The new inline baggage handling systems will create a more efficient experience for travelers by eliminating the need for passengers to walk their checked baggage to a screening location and wait before proceeding to the security checkpoint. The system incorporates enhanced explosive detection technology to provide on-screen viewing capabilities for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers conducting baggage screenings and reduces the number of re-scans and physical bag searches.

When construction is completed, Philadelphia International Airport will boast a total of four operational inline systems instead of eight separate screening locations—markedly improving airport efficiency. The new technology will also make work safer for TSA employees by automating the baggage screening process.

Also today City officials responsible for preparing Recovery Act applications and managing the expenditure of funds underwent training on the Act's strict tracking and reporting requirements. The training session, organized by Chief Integrity Officer Joan Markman and Inspector General Amy Kurland, was conducted by a law enforcement agent in the federal Department of Justice Inspector General's office. The session covered an overview of the reporting requirements, common fraud schemes in the grants and procurement processes and how to spot them, how to put measures in place to minimize the likelihood of fraud/waste happening in the first place, and how to report suspected instances of fraud or abuse.

"With this unprecedented investment comes unprecedented oversight," said Mayor Nutter. "The City of Philadelphia is committed to this process and we will ensure that every dollar spent is spent legally, honestly, and with the goal of putting Philadelphians to work."