More airport scanners

By | Category: Travel news

Belfast City

Three days ago it was announced that more scanners are to be introduced at airports. They are already to be found at ten of the UK’s airports. Now they will be placed in another eleven.

Apparently, according to Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, the security threat at our airports is still “substantial” and “an attack is a strong possibility.” So he has decided that add them at Aberdeen, Belfast City, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool, Luton, Newcastle, Prestwick and Stansted airports.

He has also suggested that those airports who have these devices consider the case for increasing them.

Don’t get confused by thinking that your regional airport already has scanners. These are different and use millimetre wave technology, which has no known health risks, and which are quite different from X-ray technology.

From a privacy point of view he was at pains to point out that this kit uses automatic threat recognition software, which means that no image of a passenger is produced.

The overwhelming evidence from airports is that nearly all passengers accept the use of security scanners and find the process quick and convenient. However, I appreciate a small minority may still prefer to request an alternative procedure for a variety of reasons.

Some people still object to going through a scanner. In the past no scan, no flight. Now passengers who opt out of being screened by a security scanner will be allowed a private search alternative which McLaughlin “is of an equivalent security value to a security scan.” But if you won’t accept this alternative method, and still refuse the security scan, then you won’t be allowed to board.

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