JFK, LAX to pilot body imaging scanners



Print story Email to a friend Font size:WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Security Administration says it has added more airports to pilot a new body-imaging technology for airline security checkpoints.

Officials say the millimeter wave whole body scanner is now being piloted at Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. The new technology, which some critics including the American Civil Liberties Union have called a violation of privacy, is capable of detecting weapons, explosives and other concealed security threats, the TSA reported.

The millimeter wave technology, which is currently in use at Phoenix Sky-Harbor International Airport, uses energy reflected from the body to generate an image. Some officials say the new technology could become an alternative to the pat-down for suspected individuals.

TSA officials say passengers who are asked to use the machine may decline and opt for more traditional security measures.

"The use of whole body imaging is a significant step forward in checkpoint technology," Kip Hawley, TSA administrator, said in a statement. "By expanding the use of millimeter wave, we are providing our officers with another tool to enhance security and protect the public from evolving threats."

The TSA says it plans to purchase and deploy another 30 of the machines in 2008.


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