RGIA may install full-body scanners soon

Security personnel keep tight vigil at Patna Airport as security has been beefed up in the entire nation in the wake of recent threat of terrorist attacks and Independence Day, in Patna on August 13, 2006.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

Passengers at Hyderabad airport are likely to be subjected to full body scan without any ‘exception’ and trial runs are expected to begin in a month’s time.

Incidentally, a bid to install similar body scanners failed to take off earlier at the New Delhi airport, as objections were raised on account of breach of privacy and radiation risks.

This time, however, authorities are asserting that ‘private parts’ will not be visible in the scans. “We will use machines which employee Millimetre Wave Technology, which is very common at airports and metro stations in the West, including the United States,” a senior security official said.

The Transportation Security Administration, which looks after the airport security in the US is also using similar technology to screen passengers.

“With this, there will be no breach of privacy and lesser risk of radiation. The security personnel can only detect alien objects on the body, including bullets, plastic and gold jewellery. Private body parts won’t be visible as the scanner will only reflect the human skeleton,” the officer said.

The passengers will be asked to remove all the metal objects on their body, including gold jewellery before they enter a small cabin, which will have inverters and observers on the top.

There is no question of concern, everybody has to go through it if they want to board a flight; it is a matter of security and we don’t want to compromise, he said.

“One has to enter a PCO cabin-like small booth, where the body will be scanned for less than 10 seconds before they are subjected to frisking during trial runs,” they said.

Earlier, it was launched in New Delhi and was not successful, but this time we are getting scanner machines which are pretty expensive and upgraded, the officer said and added that the project will commence at Hyderabad airport, which is one of the busiest airports in South Asia.

“The metal and other object carried by a passenger will be subjected to x-ray belt scanning.

Recently, personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force held a meeting in which they discussed on the installation of at least two full-body scanners on a trial basis. “Once the project is successful, the machines will be replaced with frisking booths without compromising security and with reduced manpower,” he said.

If successful at Hyderabad airport, the scanners, in the shape of small booths, will be installed at all international and a few ‘sensitive’ domestic airports in the country, the official added.

After Easter day bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, the Central Industrial Security Force personnel are asking passengers to remove paint belts and in some cases shoes with the large sole, before they pass through metal detectors.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:41:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/rgia-may-install-full-body-scanners-soon/article27016530.ece

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