No full-body scanners at Dubai airports
Full-body scanner, which enables security staff to see X-ray image of passengers, will not be used at Dubai airports as the device violates national ethics, Dubai airport security chief Brig Ahmed bin Thani has said.world Updated: Jul 06, 2010 21:28 IST
Full-body scanner, which enables security staff to see X-ray image of passengers, will not be used at Dubai airports as the device violates national ethics, Dubai airport security chief Brig Ahmed bin Thani has said.
"The use of such a device violates personal privacy and it raises a very sensitive issue for passengers, in addition to the fact that it does not complement our national ethics," Ahmed bin Thani said.
"I do not feel that it is necessary for us to implement such a technology while we are operating different methods and have different avenues that have worked so far," he added.
The rejection by Dubai is at odds with an announcement by authorities at a regional aviation security conference last month that they intended to introduce body-imaging machines at airports, The National reported.
Federal officials are reviewing the technology because of the radiation concerns, said Saif al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority.
"We don't have full information on the side effects of using this kind of equipment on frequent flyers," he said.
Brig bin Thani said security measures which are already in place in Dubai were sufficient to keep travellers safe, noting that the new device is not required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
"The acquisition of such devices is based on the decision of every member state of the ICAO and is not a mandatory measure instructed by them," he said.
The screening devices have already been installed in the US, Canada and other European countries. Around 1,000 full-body scanners are due to be operational in US airports by the end of next year.
Some countries, such as the Netherlands and Britain, are trying to address privacy concerns by digitally blurring the images of passengers' faces. Other countries delete passengers' images after 24 hours.