Body scanners introduced at Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport, which has been trialling a Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner in Terminal 2 since October 2009, is one of two airports that have been directed by the Government to introduce the technology today. Additional scanners are also planned for Terminals 1 and 3 by the end of February.
Since the incident on an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day, the UK Government has been working closely with airport authorities to develop additional security measures including introducing body scanners at larger airports.
The new security rules on body scanners, which are being introduced in addition to the current security procedures, make it mandatory for any passengers who are selected for a scan to participate. These include:
Passengers who have requested a private search prior to or after passing through the walk-through metal detection equipment. Passengers who have been referred for a private search following an unresolved metal detection alarm or if the security officer believes that further investigation is required following completion of the hand search process.
If explosive trace detection equipment causes an alarm to sound, or if vapour detection equipment has caused an alarm. Any passenger can also be selected at random without regard to personal characteristics for a scan.
Under the new rules, any refusal to be body scanned will result in passengers not being allowed to travel.
“We understand that compulsory body scanning is a big change for customers who are selected under the new rules. We know privacy concerns have been on our customers’ minds which is why we have put strict procedures to reassure them that their privacy will be protected”, said Manchester Airport’s Head of Customer Experience, Sarah Barrett.
“We’ve been at the forefront in the development of imaging technology for UK airports and feel we are well placed to introduce this relatively simple, safe and straightforward security process. It will enhance security for everyone, which can only be a good thing, without compromising people’s privacy. The image generated by the body scanner cannot be stored or captured nor can security officers viewing the images recognise people. Contrary to reports, the equipment does not allow security staff to see passengers naked”.
Previously, under 18’s were not allowed to participate in the body scanner trial at Manchester Airport. However, the Government has confirmed as part of the new rules that this exemption no longer applies.
Manchester Airport is providing passengers travelling through Terminal 2 with detailed information about the introduction of body scanners. The same information is also available on its website – www.manchesterairport.co.uk – alongside video footage illustrating the process.
Image supplied by Manchester Airport
(C)2010 Press Association
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