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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 14, 1998 - Samoa News)-----Hawaiian Airlines' security personnel at Pago Pago International Airport no longer will go through the tedious task of hand searching departing passengers' hand carried luggage. Instead, a new hi-tech security x-ray machine installed last Thursday at the departure lounge will do the job in seconds.

Similar to x-ray machines installed at airports across the nation, the new machine, which cost the airline $25,000, will now expedite airport clearances.

The machine will improve security for the airline, said local Station Manager Lagi Asuega.

The x-ray machine arrived last Wednesday from Honolulu, Asuega said, and was installed on Thursday. Technicians from RAPISCAN Security of Los Angeles, where the machine was purchased, conducted training for Hawaiian Airlines' eight security personnel.

"This machine will prevent long lines of passengers waiting for their handcarries to be hand-searched, a task which takes time," Asuega explained yesterday during a brief demonstration at the airport.

The new x-ray machine, with full color monitor, comes at the time of the year when Hawaiian Airlines' passenger traffic is at its peak, with a larger than usual number of passengers traveling to and from Honolulu.

Among the first 279 passengers to expedite clearance of carry on bags last Friday, once the x-ray machine went into service, was Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, en route to Washington, D.C.

Asuega said the Honolulu-based carrier plans to install similar x-ray machines at its stations on the outer islands of Hawaii.

At Pago Pago, the x-ray machine will be used only by Hawaiian Airlines. Other local airlines will continue to employ the old hand searching method.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to samoanews@samoatelco.com

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