From Sen. McCaskill's team:
Today, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill will talk with reporters at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at 2:30 PM to announce over $42 million in federal funding for the airport to construct new baggage screening systems in Terminals 1 and 2. The technology will allow Lambert and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to screen checked baggage for explosives more quickly and accurately, while streamlining the ticketing and boarding process for passengers. McCaskill will be arriving on the afternoon flight from Washington, D.C. and will meet with reporters at the airport along with officials from Lambert to discuss the details of the funding.
The airport will receive $28.9 million in stimulus grant funding for the construction of a new baggage screening system in Terminal 1 and an additional $13.65 million from the FY2010 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the construction of a new baggage screening system at Terminal 2. The new systems will provide improved on-screen resolution capability for security officers in order to reduce the number of re-scans and physical bag searches. Travelers will now be able to check their luggage at the ticket counter without having to drag their bags across the airport to the x-ray machines.
Earlier this summer McCaskill announced a $3.3 million stimulus grant to fund an improved design for the new baggage screening system, which paved the way for the release of the funding being announced today. For several years, McCaskill has worked with TSA, Mayor Francis Slay, and representatives from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to help identify federal grant funding opportunities that might be available and has hosted several meetings to help the parties work together to overcome hurdles in the grant process.
McCaskill, who does not request earmarks, is a strong advocate for competitive merit and need-based grants and low-interest government loans, which bring federal assistance to Missouri in a fiscally responsible manner.