The controversy over the ‘naked’ body scanners trialled at Manchester Airport could soon be coming to an end. The airport is going to replace the current scanners with a trial of new generation of security scanners which are more privacy friendly.
The current scanners show a ghost-like outline of the body produced by low doses of x-rays. In line with legislation from Brussels, the new scanners will scan passengers using radio frequency-based millimetre wave technology. Instead of airport security being able to see the scans, a computer will analyse them and produce a stick figure diagram indicating where staff should search for hidden objects.
The new system might give more privacy on the images the scanners produce, but it does potentially bring back frisking by airport staff, something which has left many perplexed.
Andrew Harrison, Chief Operating Officer at M.A.G, Manchester Airport‘s parent company commented: “We’re baffled by this situation because health experts say they are safe plus the overwhelming majority of our passengers and security staff prefer body scanners to frisking and it’s frustrating that Brussels has allowed this successful trial to end.”
“Our security surveys and those run by the Department for Transport show passengers regularly rate their experience at Manchester as one of the best security processes in the UK if not Europe.
“There’s no doubt that body scanners play a big part in these results. That’s why we are once again investing in new next generation scanner technology where the human examination of images is automated.”
The trial of the new five security scanners is expected to last three months.