Aug 15, 2012

Advanced passenger screening at Australia’s major airports

From November this year, the most advanced passenger screening technology available in the world will be rolled out across all of Australia’s international gateway airports.

The Parliament this morning passed the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill which provides for the introduction of new body scanners, following a successful trial of the technology in Sydney and Melbourne.

The machines only produce a generic outline (attached) to display the location of metal and non-metal items under clothing.

To protect people’s privacy, the image will appear as a stick figure with no defining features.

As an additional measure, the images will not be able to be copied, transferred or stored.

The ‘millimetre-wave’ body scanners are perfectly safe and one body scan emits 10,000 times less frequency energy than a single mobile phone call.

From November, the new body scanners will operate alongside existing walk through metal detectors at airports and passengers will be required to be screened by one or the other.

While exemptions for serious medical conditions will apply, a person who refuses to undergo a screening procedure will not be allowed to fly.

The introduction of the new body scanner is a key part Government’s Strengthening Aviation Security initiative. Under this initiative the Government is providing $28 million for new screening measures, including body scanners to strengthen aviation security.

Australia has a safe aviation record with over 13 million people flying out of our international airports each year.

The new body scanners will provide an additional layer of security for these people and ensure safety in our skies.