The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has secured $150 million in taxpayer dollars to speed up baggage screening at LAX, officials announced Monday.

That's a lot of cash for an automated, in-line baggage screening process. Put it this way: The feds gave so far pledged $481 million to improving baggage screening at Los Angeles World Airports (including Ontario); that's enough to wipe out the city of Los Angeles projected $400 million budget deficit.

The new systems, to be installed in “several terminals” at LAX (read: not all of them), will have “enhanced technology to screen each piece of

checked passenger luggage behind-the-scenes,” according to a Los Angeles World Airports announcement. “The projects will make

travel through LAX safer, faster and more convenient by removing the

explosive detection machines in airport terminal lobbies.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was all over it:

“Reducing long lines and long waits in the terminals will make

passengers both happier and safer,” he said.

Congresswoman Lucille

Roybal-Allard helped to make it happen: “I welcome TSA's contribution toward resolving the outstanding funding

balance for the in-line baggage screening projects at LAX, one of the

nation's highest priority airports,” she said.

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