Tester Lands Major Security Upgrades for Helena, Great Falls Airports

Senator Successfully Pushes TSA for Modern Scanning Equipment


(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today landed major security upgrades for the Helena Regional Airport and Great Falls International Airport to better ensure the safety of passengers flying out of Montana.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Homeland Security Committee, has received notification that after a year of pressuring the agency, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be delivering full body scanners to Helena and Great Falls.  Currently, the airports only have metal detectors to screen passengers before boarding a plane.

Today’s announcement comes after several Homeland Security hearings where Senator Tester grilled the TSA Administrator and demanded the agency deliver full body scanners to Helena and Great Falls airports.

We know that the bad guys will go to the weakest link when they want to inflict harm on our nation,” said Tester. “That’s why it’s critically important that we stay tough and ensure our airports are secure so Montana families are kept safe.  I was pleased to work closely with folks in Helena and Great Falls on these important national security upgrades.”

Currently, the TSA prioritizes installing full body scanners in urban airports, which had ‎left the airports in Helena and Great Falls without the most up-to-date security equipment. 

Tester also successfully added an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that was signed into law in July to study the feasibility of installing full body scanners in every airport across the country.