Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New TSA Radios Are Analog! UPDATED!

In late 2008 there were news reports of the Transportation Security Administration requesting funding for newer, smaller radios that were supposed to help keep the security checkpoints quieter.

Now I have seen a report that the TSA at Newark Liberty Airport is using new Icom F50 portable radios at the screening areas. Interestingly, the person reporting this says they were using them on 172. 1500 MHz in analog mode (136.5 pl), but with voice inversion scrambling!

The TSA is apparently still using the APCO P-25 radios for other operations in Newark, and I have not heard this analog activity at other airports, but I will be looking for these changes as I travel this week.


I have received some additional information on the "new" TSA radios, specifically they are using 169.1625 MHz, 131.8 pl with inversion scrambling in Oakland, CA (OAK) and I have personally confirmed that the TSA at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport (PHX) are using the Icom F50 radios on 172.1500, 123.0 pl with inversion scrambling.

They are still using the XTS P-25 radios, but only a few TSA officers (supervisors?) are carrying them. Almost all the screeners dealing with the public at security checkpoints were wearing the Icom radios. If you have the TSA programmed in your scanner as "digital only", watch out! They've taken a small step backwards to analog!

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