Aug 19, 2011

Travellers queue up to trial body scanners

The completion of a trial of new body scanning technology at Sydney International Airport has seen passengers heading off overseas queuing up to volunteer.

The trial ends in Sydney today before heading to Melbourne and has seen the technology used over 4,000 times during the past three weeks.

Around 60 percent of passengers have been cleared to proceed after being screened and 40 percent were identified as having metallic and non-metallic items in or under their clothing.

No prohibited items were located and most of the alarms were caused by items such as wallets and jewellery.

They’re exactly the type of items the scanners are designed to detect and are evidence they are working.

The equipment is the most advanced passenger screening technology in the world and is part of the Government’s commitment to protecting the travelling public.

The scanners are perfectly safe with one body scanner emitting 10,000 times less radio frequency energy than an average mobile phone call.

It also protects the privacy of passengers with the same generic image displayed for all travellers and no individuals images are stored or shared.

Feedback from the public indicates that there is genuine traveller interest in the technology and what the Government is doing to boost the security of our airlines.

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

The trial of body scanning technology will continue at Melbourne International Airport from 5 to 30 September.

After an evaluation of the trial, the Government plans to roll-out body scanning technology at Australia’s international gateway airports.

The new technology is part of the Government’s $200 million Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative.