"Puffer" Debuts At Airport

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 19, 2006

The puffer is a portal machine that passengers walk through. Sacramento area resident Jim Fitzgerald was one of the first to walk through the new device.

"Well it was interesting, it blows a little air on you and stuff but I don’t know what it does."

What the puffer does is detect explosive materials.

"It samples the air, blows air on you and then samples that air looking for explosive traces."

Ron Pelayo – the airport’s federal security director – says passenger reaction for the most part is pretty good. 

"They’ve had a good time going through there and having air blown on them."

But the puffer’s not everyone’s idea of a good time…like this business traveler named Mike.

"Trying to get on a plane to do anything in this country is a nightmare, this just adds to it."

Airport officials say passengers selected at random will pass through the puffer as well as travelers identified as needing additional screening.

Sacramento International is one of about 25 airports around the country with the new device.