A pen, a wallet and a handkerchief is all that the body scanner installed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) could not detect. Of the 75,00 scans by the body scanner in 12 days, only in three cases, the scanner could not detect the item in the passenger’s possession. Out of these, 30% were women passengers.
According to officials of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the success rate is very high and the equipment is being fine tuned as per Indian standards. Passengers are asked to remove metal and other items from the body before going through the body scanner.
“Another body scanner has arrived and will be put on trial next week. We are testing two different technologies and whichever is better, will be used,” CISF DG OP Singh said.
Once the trial run is completed, the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) will frame the rule to make it mandatory. Sources said this scanner produces mannequin-like images. Knowing about the objections raised by passengers over X-Ray images that body scanners produce at airports across the world, BCAS asked the manufacturers to configure the machines to ensure that the images don’t reveal body parts.
The scanner with ‘millimeter wave technology’ has been brought from the United States and another one from Germany has also arrived. During the trail run, passengers will be requested to go through the body scanner after they have collected their boarding passes. It will, however, be mandatory for every passenger to go through the normal security check even after going through the scanner.
“Many people are refusing to go through body scanner because of this. Women are also hesitant,” said a CISF official.
A few years ago, a similar trail run was conducted at the Delhi airport and a US-based company installed the body scanner which can detect contraband and explosives hidden inside the body of a person. A survey conducted during the first phase of the trial run revealed that 90% passengers feel the new technology will be helpful, but only 40% volunteered to go through the scanner.
The entire scanning process, which does not take more than a minute, also comes with privacy filters, the use of which is optional for the official manning the machine.
The scanner can reveal plastic and liquid explosives, composite weapons, plastic and metal guns, drugs and other contraband, ceramic and metal knives, box cutters, precious metals and recording devices.