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Body scanners given thumbs up

European Commission gives Manchester Airport new body scanner permission

Published on May 13th 2010.

Body scanners given thumbs up

Manchester Airport’s terminal two will become the first in Europe to replace hand searching with body scanners as part of the security process after airport bosses secured a unique agreement from the European Commission.

So far over 40,000 people have been through the scanner and it’s becoming another vital part of the security procedure here at Manchester.

The move follows a successful trial of a body scanner in terminal two that began in October 2009 and which became a compulsory part of secondary security screening in February 2010.

This means that from today in terminal two only, the scanners will be deployed as part of a 12-month trial, replacing the second walk through metal detector. The airport is aiming to demonstrate to customers that they can keep their coats, jackets and shoes thus improving their journey through the security process.

The airport has been trialling a new SMART lane layout and this will complement the use of the scanners improving flow rate and ensuring passenger experience is reinforced.

The scanners will not be installed in terminals one and three as originally announced, until the results of the new trial in T2 are ascertained. This follows the success of the partial trial that started last October and also follows the foiled terrorist attack to bring down a US flight to Detroit, after which scanners were made mandatory in the UK.

Following the successful trial and the subsequent decision after the Christmas Day bomb, Manchester Airport always envisaged that more Imaging Technology units would be stationed in the remaining terminals at Manchester Airport. Scanners are already in place at Heathrow and other UK airports are bringing them online throughout the year.

Since February of 2010, new security rules on body scanners made it mandatory for any passengers who are selected for a scan to participate. Under the new rules, any refusal to be body scanned results in passengers not being allowed to travel.

The model used at Manchester is the Secure 1000 Single Pose, which has already been approved by the US Transportation Security Administration and is currently being deployed at airports in the US. The Secure 1000 uses advanced x-ray backscatter technology and image processing software to detect potential threats on passengers at aviation checkpoints. The Secure 1000 Single Pose is designed to help security teams detect potential threat objects concealed on passengers.

Sarah Barrett, Head of Customer Experience at Manchester Airport, said: “The decision gives us an opportunity to improve our security procedure for the benefit of our customers which is exactly why we began using the scanner back in October. So far over 40,000 people have been through the scanner and it’s becoming another vital part of the security procedure here at Manchester. We have continued to reiterate that the image generated cannot be stored or captured nor can security officers viewing the images recognise people. The decision from the European Commission means that we can use the scanners as we originally envisaged to quicken the process for our customers.”

The introduction of a range of new security measures over the last few months has seen official visitors to the airport from other airport security colleagues from as far afield as Nigeria, Tunisia, Jordan and the USA. The Department for Transport have also praised the security operation at Manchester as one of the best in the country.

Manchester Airport will be providing passengers travelling through the terminals with detailed information about the introduction of body scanners.

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Dan NibloMay 14th 2010.

16 comments about Rangers day and zero about the biggest infringement on human civil liberty in living memory. priorities people, priorities.

Christopher BryanMay 16th 2010.

nice baps

Smyth HarperMay 19th 2010.

"The biggest infringement on human civil liverty in living memory". I take it you're taking the piss Nibby, and if so you should be ashamed. If not, you should grow up.

A couple of months back I went with a group of people to the airport to be shown these scanners and how they operate to help respond to concerns that they do infringe civil liberties and privacy. The group was a diverse mix and we were all won over. From an informed point of view, I can honestly say that the airport has done a superb job - and have gone to great lengths - to ensure that the civil rights and privacy of those passengers who have to go through have been protected.

There is some good info on their website which sets out exactly how they work. "The biggest infringement on human civil liberty in living memory". I take it you're taking the piss Nibby, and if so you should be ashamed, and if you're being serious you should grow up.

I was taken round these scanners a few months back as part of a delegation of people who were concerned about civil liberties and implications for, for example, transsexual people. They won us all over. And I can say with confidence, from an informed point of view, that the airport have done a great job with these scanners to ensure that the privacy and human rights of those who have to go through them are protected. The airport has got some good info about the scanners on their website along with a video showing how they work


Smyth HarperMay 19th 2010.

Ew, why do the paragraph breaks not work any more? I look like a nutter in the above post!

DescartesMay 19th 2010.

They do smitty, but some clever foo made them automatic.

Hopefully they'll fix you ;)

Smyth HarperMay 19th 2010.

They've fixed it! I now look (slightly) less mad. Hmm, however, I did have to do the post twice as it didn't appear first time, but it now appears that they've run both. Eek, I still look like a nutter!

AnonymousMay 19th 2010.

But there's plenty of other bits broken on the site aint there

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