Perth Airport officials say the operation of new full body scanners will not mean longer wait times for travellers.
The first of three scanners began operating at Perth International Airport yesterday, with airport staff the first to be subject to random scans.
“The entire process for body scanning takes about four seconds – two seconds to scan and two second to see the analysis,” Perth Airport spokeswoman Fiona Lander said.“So no, it will not delay, and it will not cause queues at all.”
Using low frequency radio waves, the scanners can detect solid objects which may be concealed under the clothing of individual passengers – including weapons, explosive components and other prohibited items.
Passengers will be randomly selected for scanning, with anyone who refuses denied access to their flight.Once a scan is completed, security staff are presented with a generic “stick figure” image, with any detected objects highlighted in yellow.
Previous models of the scanner have raised the concerns of privacy advocates, who were concerned at the prospect of real-time body outlines being viewable by airport security staff.The scanners were also at the centre of controversy in the United States in 2010, where airport staff were found to have stored images of passengers and uploaded them to the internet.
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