President Obama's 2011 Federal Budget Proposal includes $56.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), much of it to be devoted to increasing air travel security.
- Whole Body Scanners: A proposed increase of $214.7 million would allow the purchase and installation of 500 additional "advanced imaging technology machines" (whole body scanners) at U.S. airports.
- TSA Screeners and Staff: The DHS budget request includes an increase of $218.9 million for hiring more Transportation Security Officers (passenger screeners), and managers. "Passenger screening is critical to detecting and preventing individual carrying dangerous or deadly objects from boarding planes."
- Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs): BDOs patrol airports to identify passengers who display "involuntary physical and physiological" actions indicating stress, fear or deception and funnel them off for additional screening. A proposed $20 million funding increase would allow the TSA to increase the total number of BDOs to 3,350 nationwide.
- Federal Air Marshals (FAMs): FAMs fly right along with us, usually unnoticed, until they are needed to "detect, deter and defeat terrorist and other criminal hostile acts targeting U.S. air carriers, airports, passengers and crew." A requested $85 million increase in funding would be used to hire more FAMs, especially for assignment on international flights.
- Canine Teams: Other than terrorists, who doesn't adore the friendly airport pups with noses for bombs? An additional $71 million would all TSA to train and deploy 275 new canine-human explosive detection teams.
- Portable Explosive Trace Detection: A funding increase of $60 million would allow the purchase and installation of about 800 new portable explosives detection machines.
The President's Budget Proposal is just the first step in the almost year-long annual federal budget process. All of the funding and revenue provisions in the proposal are subject to the approval of Congress.