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Starting next year, you will not be frisked at airports anymore

PW Bureau

Starting next year, airports will use body scanners at security checks for “clean passengers” before they are allowed to enter New Delhi: Airports in India are going to do away with physical frisking from next year and will instead use body scanners for “clean passengers.” The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) will soon spell out the technical specifications of these scanners and then airports would have to install devices that meet those requirements. The move is expected to ease the load off Indian airports, which handle passengers way beyond their stipulated capacity, cut manpower costs and speed up security checks.

Full transmission scanners were earlier rejected by India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board as the radiation coming out of these scanners were found to be harmful. The active and passive millimetre wave body scanners, on the other hand, are deemed to be safer.

“We will be issuing the specifications and regulations for active and passive millimetre wave body scanners by early next year. This is being done after their trial runs were conducted successfully (at some Indian airports),” BCAS chief Kumar Rajesh Chandra told media. Full transmission scanners were earlier rejected by India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board as the radiation coming out of these scanners were found to be harmful. The active and passive millimetre wave body scanners, on the other hand, are deemed to be safer. Another factor that needs to be kept in mind is the fact that the scanners used in India will have to be customised so that they can penetrate the layers of clothes unique to the country — like front and shoulder pleats of a sari and lungi. The Central Industrial Security Force had earlier this year said it wanted scanners at airports “improve the efficiency of screeners.” Over a year ago, the CISF had sounded an alarm over the lack of infrastructure facilities at choked airport terminals. “Despite huge increase in (peak hour rush), the security infrastructure and manpower have remained the same, resulting in congestion at security check points and undue pressure on security personnel for speedy clearance,” CISF had said in a report titled “Future Projection September 2017” that was submitted to home and aviation ministries.