Tallinn Airport introduces body scans ({{commentsTotal}})

Passengers at Tallinn Airport.
Passengers at Tallinn Airport. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Tallinn Airport will begin using its new full-body scanner this week. The scanner is expected to make security checks more convenient for travellers, especially those who use prosthetics, implants, or pacemakers.

The body scanner will be used to find objects passengers are banned of taking along on flights and can differ these from skin and other tissue. As it will also show implants and pacemakers that would otherwise trigger non-visual scanners, it is expected to resolve otherwise difficult checks more quickly.

As Tarvi Pihlakas of Tallinn Airport confirms, passenger submit themselves to a scan voluntarily. “All passengers will still pass the metal detector, but now it is possible to run an additional inspection without physical contact,” Pihlakas explained.

The airport’s scanner was procured via an international tender and cost €246,000. According to the operator, it won’t violate passengers’ privacy, as it doesn’t display body tissue or clothing, but only the objects it is programmed to scan for.

“The security officer sees only a puppet-shaped, sex-neutral mannequin, so there is no reason to be afraid that someone might see something inappropriate or personal,” Pihlakas stressed. The scanner also uses broadband radio waves, not x-rays, which means that the procedure does not put the passengers at risk physically.

The data collected by the scanner is neither saved nor transferred or printed, and only visible until an inspection is over. The passenger’s identity remains hidden. Any passenger can refuse the scan and instead submit to a physical check carried out by a security officer.irpa

Editor: Dario Cavegn



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