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Security - Body Scanner

In accordance with CAA regulations, new body scanners have been installed at LCY and are to be used with both passengers and staff.

For the benefit of every individual’s security, individuals may be required to be screened using security scanner equipment using millimetre waves. The amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by millimetre wave security scanners is many times lower than that emitted by a mobile phone. Assessment of the scan data will be conducted by a computer algorithm. No images of individuals are created, and no scan data will be saved.

Individuals who refuse to be scanned will be offered an alternative screening method, involving at least an enhanced hand search in private.

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Why is the scanner being introduced?

The scanners represent the future of security screening and are installed in accordance with CAA regulations throughout UK airports.

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How does it work?

Scanners use millimetre wave technology to produce an outline image of the passenger’s body, highlighting any concealed objects.

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What happens when a passenger is scanned?

The passenger steps in to the machine, and, while they are in the machine will receive instructions from a security officer.  The process takes a matter of seconds and an outline image is produced immediately.

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Is the scanner safe?

All security scanners must use millimetre wave technology, as it poses no known health and safety risks. Millimetre wave scanners utilise a very low power, non-ionising form of electromagnetic technology. Non-ionising radiation refers to electromagnetic waves which do not alter atoms in molecules by removing electrons. The amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by millimetre wave security scanners is many times lower than that emitted by a mobile phone.

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Is the passenger’s privacy protected?

Yes. The image is a generic image without distinguishing features which, in any case, is not retained.

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Are children, or any other groups, exempted from random selection?

No. No-one is exempt from scanning if they are selected, unless they are physically unable to stand in the scanner. 

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Is there an alternative screening method?

If a passenger opts out of the security scanner, the alternative screening method will be at least a private search (an enhanced hand-search in private which may involve the loosening and/or removal of clothing). The DFT considers that this alternative offers a comparative security assurance to passengers as being screened by a security scanner.

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