Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) started with the real-time trial of the full-body scanner at the Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday. DIAL has informed that the Millimeter-wave based scanner, has been given a green signal by the medical authorities for carrying out security checks. DIAL says that it has been found to be accurate and answers privacy concerns. DIAL said the scanners are in line with the directive of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and do not pose health risks.
What is a full-body scanner?
In Western countries, full-body scanners are used to check the contours of the human body. They are designed to detect objects that could be concealed in the body. Unlike the metal detectors used in airports in India, the body scanners can check underneath the clothes of the passengers. They can also identify non-metal objects such as plastic explosive devices.
How DIAL plans to go with the trials
The full-body scanners have been installed in the security check area of the airport. The trials will be conducted on a real-time basis at Terminal 2. During the security check, the passengers will have to go through the scanner before they are allowed to enter the security hold area.
The trials will be carried out for a period of up to maximum of 60 days. The feedback from the various stakeholder groups, such as the CISF and BCAS, passengers will be considered before finalizing installing them permanently at all the terminals of Delhi airport.
In April 2019, BCAS, the aviation security regulator, ordered the installation of full-body scanners at 84 hypersensitive and sensitive airports in the country. These include the Delhi airport. The order to replace the existing metal detectors with the scanners by March 2020 was issued to all the 84 airports in the country.
How will the full-body scanners help passengers?
The use of the full-body scanner can help reduce the number of strip searches and pat-downs performed by airport personnel. It can also speed up security checks by identifying non-metal objects hidden beneath the passengers’ clothes.
Full body scanner trails made earlier
In the previous trials, the number of passengers who volunteered for the use of the scanner was less than half. The jawans who were handling the monitor were also reportedly embarrassed. The government is also planning to launch an awareness campaign regarding the use of the scanner, the Telegraph reported.
In Western countries, the scanners use a computer program that prevents the images from being saved. The programme also makes it difficult for the operators to see the face of the individual being scanned. Intelligence agencies in India have been demanding the use of full-body scanners, but the government has been avoiding this as it may land them in a difficult situation.