The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.
TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit for the software after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to produce generic passenger images, agency officials said in interviews.
Enlarge image OSI Systems Inc.'s Rapiscan Backscatter
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee, center, is scanned during a demonstration of the Rapiscan Backscatter advanced imaging technology machine at Logan International airport in Boston on March 5, 2010. Photographer: Michael Fein/Bloomberg
OSI's Rapiscan Unit Sales, U.S. Defense Spending
Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Peter Kant, executive vice president of OSI Systems Inc.'s Rapiscan Systems Inc. division, talks about the impact of U.S. defense budget changes on the company's sales. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)
OSI's Edrick Interview on Full-Body Scanners
Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Alan Edrick, chief financial officer of OSI Systems Inc., talks with Bloomberg's Matt Miller and Zahra Burton about the outlook for the company's full-body scanning equipment at airports following a suspect terrorist's attempt to blow up a U.S. airline on Christmas Day. OSI’s Rapiscan unit makes machines that can detect liquids and other potential explosives beneath passengers’ clothing. In October, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration placed an order valued at $25 million for Rapiscan’s imaging equipment. (Source: Bloomberg)
The agency removed 76 of the machines from busier U.S. airports last year. It will now get rid of the remaining 174 Rapiscan machines, with the company absorbing the cost, said Karen Shelton Waters, the agency’s assistant administrator for acquisitions. The TSA will use 60 machines manufactured by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), the agency’s other supplier of body scanners, and will move some scanners to busier airports to reduce waiting times.
“It became clear to TSA they would be unable to meet our timeline,” Waters said. “As a result of that, we terminated the contract for the convenience of the government.”