Manchester Airport has introduced new state-of-the-art, non-invasive body scanning technology in response to new regulations put in place by the UK Department for Transport.
The "millimetre wave" technology uses radio waves at a power output many times lower than portable personal devices like mobile phones. The body-scanners can detect a wide range of potential threats to security in a matter of seconds and will be used alongside the airport’s existing security screening systems.
Passengers will be randomly selected for scanning or on activation of the normal security checks. They will then pass through the scanner which highlights those areas where items that need to be checked out are being carried.
The scanners do not produce an image of the person being scanned. The software processes the scan data automatically and indicates the areas that need to be checked by highlighting them on a generic mannequin diagram. The passenger can see this diagram on the screen when they exit from the scanner. As no images are created, the personal privacy of passengers is respected and there can be no question of images being stored or retrieved later. The information shown on the generic diagram is deleted after the passenger has been cleared by the security officer.
The UK Government has concluded that the use of this equipment does not pose any risk to health. The scanning equipment does not produce XRAYS, nor does it emit ionising radiation.
If you do not wish to be screened by a security scanner, you will undergo an enhanced hand search conducted in private. This will involve the removal of all outer clothing, and the loosening and/or removal of inner garments. The Department for Transport (DfT) considers that this alternative offers a comparative security assurance to passengers.
All the technologies deployed have been assessed by government health and safety regulators and have concluded that there are no unacceptable risks to health.
Passing through the scanner does not constitute a risk to health for any passenger, including those with pacemakers or internal defibrillators.
As walk through metal detectors are still part of the security process please continue to alert security staff of your pacemaker, as you would normally have done.