DUBLIN AIRPORT is to begin the trial of full-body security scanners later this year.
The 18-month-trial, which will be applied to staff areas only, will see users given the option to substitute the traditional security scan with passage through a full-body scanner.
The full-body unit will produce a mannequin-style silhouette of the user, identifying any individual part of their body which may require an additional search.
The idea behind the scanners is that by identifying any individual point where security staff will need to perform a manual search, the need for a full ‘pat-down’ search – which would take significantly longer – can be avoided, with queues therefore moving faster.
A spokesman for the Dublin Airport Authority stressed that no decision had been made on whether to use the scanners in the public areas of the airport, and that if such scanners were deployed for passengers’ use, that searches would still be optional.
“The image that the scanner would produce would be nothing like a picture of a naked person,” the spokesperson said. “It bears no resemblance whatsoever – in fact, the image is the same whether a man or a woman.”
The machinery being used displays its scanned image to the passenger as well as to the machine’s operator, but immediately deletes this image and does not keep it logged anywhere else.
The millimetre wave technology being used in the scanners is only “a fraction of the strength of the signal from a mobile phone”, and bounces off the body rather than penetrating it, the spokesman added.
Similar scanners are already used in other larger airports around the world, including in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, where machines produce images similar to that displayed here.