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In the wake of September 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Agency was given the responsibility for ensuring that all baggage flying on U.S. commercial aircraft would be screened. Left undefined was how much baggage-scanning equipment should be deployed at each airport, given the objective of scanning all arriving baggage thoroughly while not unnecessarily inconveniencing the flying public. This documented briefing builds on an earlier RAND white paper, “Safer Skies,” answering the question, “how much is enough?” by minimizing the total direct and inferred costs to the flying public for different Electronic Detection System deployment sizes. The authors also offer a discussion of the pros and cons of positive passenger profiling and how the introduction of profiling might reduce these costs.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND’s donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

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