PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The federal government is finally paying for baggage screening systems at Rhode Island's main airport that were upgraded after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.

The Rhode Island Democrat met Friday with officials from the Rhode Island Airport Corporation and the Transportation Security Administration at the T.F. Green Airport in Warwick to discuss air travel safety.

Reed said $40 million has been allocated nationally in a 2020 spending bill to reimburse several airports for baggage screening systems and security improvements, of which $5.5 million will be directed to T.F. Green.

The airport upgraded its baggage screening systems after the terrorist attacks, enhancing safety and saving the federal government millions in reduced labor and workers’ compensation costs, but the airport corporation wasn't fully reimbursed, Reed said.

The $5.5 million payment brings the total reimbursement so far to $18 million, of the $30 million it's owed, Reed said.

"Rhode Island airport officials answered the call to improve security, putting the safety of passengers above all else and dedicating significant financial resources to do so,” Reed said in a statement. “Finally, the federal government is paying them back and I will continue pressing to ensure Rhode Island is fully reimbursed."

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