Lansing airport to use body scanner

Device will detect metal but display it on generic body

11:26 PM, Oct. 6, 2011 |
Written by Melissa Anders

Travelers flying out of Lansing likely will have to go through a body scanner soon before boarding their flights.

The Transportation Security Administration is installing a millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology machine, or body scanner, at the Capital Region International Airport next week. A second, more traditional security lane will remain.
It should be operational by Thursday, said Robert Selig, executive director of the Capital Region Airport Authority, which oversees the airport.
The scanner can detect metal and nonmetallic items concealed under clothing.

But unlike previous models that showed a detailed outline of a person’s body, the new machines come with software that automatically detects items and displays them on a generic outline.

The software streamlines the process by eliminating the need for an agent to view the image remotely and communicate with an agent operating the scanner, TSA spokesman Jim Fotenos said.
The machines, paid for by the federal government, cost about $120,000 to $180,000 each.
The Lansing airport has two security screening lanes. One will have the body scanner, while the other will maintain the traditional screening equipment, Selig said.

“If we’re really busy we’ll have both lines going and not everyone will be (scanned),” Selig said. “But as I understand it, during lighter periods, everybody would be scanned.”
There are nearly 500 body scanners being used at 78 airports nationwide.
TSA purchased 300 machines in September and will install them in the coming months. Lansing is among 29 airports chosen for the most recent deployment.

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