WASHINGTON (AP) _ Computer training will be used to help select and monitor X-ray screeners at the carry-on checkpoints of the nation's busiest airports, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday.

Safe Passage Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., received an $11 million contract to install new computer workstations and to train instructors on its use at 60 airports around the country. Nineteen airports already have test equipment, so the new contract will bring the total to 79 nationwide.

The computer-based training is part of the Screener Proficiency Evaluation and Reporting System, or SPEARS, being developed by the FAA. Its goal is to better select, train, evaluate and monitor the performance of employees who operate airport X-ray screening checkpoints.

Airlines hire the screeners, but the FAA has decided to assist with their training.

Airlines will use one part of SPEARS to select the candidates and another as part of their training.

``Aviation security screeners play a vital role in protecting the flying public,'' FAA Administrator Jane Garvey said. ``With this new tool, the airlines will be able to pick those who are best suited for the job, give them the best possible training and make sure they get recurrent training when they need it.''