Full body scanner may be back for trial run at Delhi airport
During the last trial run, the machine failed to notice a pen, a wallet and a handkerchief in 10,000 scans conducted over a month. Among the passengers scanned at the trials, 30% were women.delhi Updated: Jun 29, 2017 23:35 IST
The full body scanner might be back for the third time at Delhi airport for another round of trial run, probably by August.
During the last trial, in December 2016, the security agency raised concerns over the body scanner not being able to adapt to the Indian way of dressing and giving false alarm whenever a woman wearing a saree goes through it.
The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the aviation security regulator, had then visited Delhi airport’s Terminal 3 for technical assessment of the American full-body scanner.
“Certain issues were raised by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which manages security at the airport. We have asked the manufacturer if they can address the issue. Once the issue is resolved, there will be another round of trial run,” said a BCAS official.
The most prominent issue raised by CISF was the scanner raising an alarm if a woman is wearing a saree or men have folded shirt sleeves. Sources said that it failed to go through with layers of clothes.
During the last trial run, the machine failed to notice a pen, a wallet and a handkerchief in 10,000 scans conducted over a month. Among the passengers scanned at the trials, 30% were women.
“We will have meetings with the manufacturer so that the machine can be fine-tuned as per the requirement. Right now, it is gathering dust, so there should be some use of it,” the official said.
The BCAS has asked manufacturers to configure the machines in a way that the images don’t reveal body parts, after objections were raised by passengers over X-ray images that scanners produce at airports across the world.
The scanner produces mannequin-like images. The scanner with ‘millimetre wave technology’ is lying at Terminal 3 and will be used for domestic travellers at that terminal.
A few years ago, a similar trial run was conducted at the Delhi airport and a US-based company had installed the body scanner that can detect contraband and explosives hidden inside the body of a person.
A survey conducted during the first phase of trial run revealed that while 90% of the passengers felt the new technology will be helpful, only 40% of them volunteered to go through the scanner.