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Old 10-19-2010, 09:25 PM
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Default Manchester Airport body scanners to become compulsory

Manchester Airport body scanners to become compulsory

10-14-2010 02:36 AM

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Thu, 2010-10-14 10:34


Manchester Airport body scanners to become compulsory


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Body scanners have been criticised for being an invasion of privacy BBC News photo






Manchester Airport body scanners to become compulsory

Source: BBC News

All people flying out of Manchester Airport will have to pass through body scanners by the end of October, it has been announced.
The equipment will be installed in all three security areas, making it compulsory for every air passenger.
Shami Chakrabarti, from Liberty, said the prospect of all travellers having "virtual strip-searches" was worrying.
However, airport bosses said most people now preferred the scanners to the full body pat down.
Work to install the final body scanner at Terminal 3, which accommodates international and domestic flights, will begin later
Since the trial began in October 2009, more than 400,000 passengers have gone through them.
According to Manchester Airport, 95% of travellers prefer the scanners and queuing times have been radically reduced.
Governments around the world have been looking into the concept of body scanners since the foiled bomb attempt on a Detroit plane on Christmas Day last year.
It can take two minutes to carry out a pat down, whereas walking through a body scanner takes 25 seconds, the airport says.
Earlier this year two Muslim women refused to go through Manchester's scanners on religious grounds.
Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport's managing director, said: "We began trialling a body scanner in 2009 because one of the most regular complaints from our passengers was about being patted down at security.
"Body scanners could solve this but we also knew that the technology was controversial which is why we embarked on a trial.
"We fully respect that a small number of people have reservations about body scanners on privacy or medical grounds, but we have gone to great lengths to ensure the highest levels of privacy protection and expert studies have shown that the technology is safe."
'Intrusive power'
However, Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties organisation Liberty, said: "As someone who has been subjected to body scanning, I am very worried about all passengers being subjected to virtual strip-searching with no alternative.
"Why is this suddenly proportionate? What about those with medical or cultural sensitivities? Where are the legal safeguards against abuses of this intrusive power?"
Despite a report from a Columbia-based university calling for more research into body scanners and radiation, the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) in September confirmed that the technology is medically safe because the exposure levels are so small.
The two Muslim women who had refused to pass through the body scanners have since visited the airport to find out more about them, which has allayed their fears, Mr Harrison said.







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