Full-body scanner lands at Midway

Full-body scanner lands at Midway

5:59 PM CST, December 14, 2010

Midway Airport has received its first full-body scanner to screen passengers for hidden weapons and explosives.

Up until now, the controversial scanners have been deployed in Chicago only at O’Hare International Airport. But the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday that one full-body scanner has been purchased for Midway using federal stimulus funds.

The scanners produce an image, more similar to an X-ray than a photograph, that reveals any items under clothing. The TSA has deployed 464 body scanners at 75 airports, and in many cases it is using the devices as the primary method of screening passengers bound for flights.
Passengers can decline body-scanner screening and instead face what the TSA calls an “enhanced pat down” to ensure no prohibited items are carried aboard aircraft.

The body scanner at Midway uses electromagnetic waves to screen passengers. The energy emitted is a tiny fraction of what is produced during a cell phone transmission, the TSA says.
—Jon Hilkevitch

Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

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