A trial run of full body scanners will start at Delhi airport later this month.
The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), which runs Delhi airport, inked an agreement with American Science and Engineering Inc (AS&E) to supply the scanners — which reveal every detail of the human body, including the genitals — to screen passengers.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has cleared the specifications of the new scanner. Sources said the civil aviation ministry has written to the customs department to suggest duty on the scanning equipment being installed on a trial basis should be waived.
DIAL refused to confirm the order with one officer claiming the company does not speak on security-related issues.
AS&E’s is a US-based manufacturer whose list of clients includes the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Defense, her Majesty’s Customs & Excise (UK), NATO, and the Royal Thai Police (Thailand), according to the company’s website.
At present, security checks at Indian airports comprise pat-down searches, doorframe metal detectors and hand-held device scans. A final decision on whether to buy the scanners — which have raised questions of human rights violation — will be taken after the trial run.