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(Inquirer.net) New, Less Intrusive Security Scanners Being Eyed for NAIA

MANILA – Good news for those who are uncomfortable about going through security scanners at airports. Authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport here are eyeing several top-of-the-line
models to replace the old ones. The main sell of prospective new machines: they should not show too much, if at all, of the human body’s sensitive contours.

The details and purchase of the new full body scanners are still being worked out, said Vicente Guerzon, assistant manager of the Manila International Airport Authority. He said the equipment will likely be installed by the end of the year after the bidding process is done.

Guerzon said his office is still studying various models of the scanners.

“There are ‘acceptability’ standards because of the issue on intrusion of privacy, as well as health concerns because of the radiation,” Guerzon acknowledged to the Inquirer.

Guerzon explained that some passengers might find their privacy violated by extra sensitive body scanners.

But the scanners will not sacrifice on the security aspects, and should be able to detect plastic explosives and traces of illegal drugs, that may be missed by the present screening system.

MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said each unit will cost around P8 million to P15 million.

“We’re looking at a model that does not show the body’s shape, for those concerned about their privacy. This will be bidded out, of course,” the official said.

He said that health concerns, brought about by radiation that would affect both the operator and the passenger, are important considerations in their studies of various scanner models. He revealed that the MIAA is consulting with the Transportation Security Administration in the United States.

The plan to purchase full body scanners is part of efforts by the MIAA to upgrade standard security checks for arriving, and departing passengers at the NAIA.