Airport trials naked passenger scanner
A combination of images shows an airport staff member demonstrating a full body scan at Manchester Airport. Photo: AFP
An x-ray machine which takes "naked" images of airline passengers is undergoing trials in England as part of a new high-tech security system.
Manchester Airport has begun using the full-body scan machine which can instantly detect any hidden weapons or explosives without passengers having to remove any of their clothing for a search.
However, some passengers fear the machine reveals a little too much, including breast enlargements, the outline of genitals and body piercings.
Airport officials insist the black and white images taken of passengers in the walk-through booth machine were not pornographic and would be destroyed immediately.
The airport's head of customer experience, Sarah Barrett, said the machine removed the need for passengers to take off coats, shoes and belts at security checks as well as the "pat down" search, procedures which were detested by most people.
"This scanner completely takes away the hassle of needing to undress," she told the BBC.
The machine, which cost about 80,000 pounds, ($140,000) beams electromagnetic waves at passengers while they stand in a booth.
A three-dimensional image is then created and assessed by an officer sitting in a separate part of the airport.
Passengers at the airport still have the option of refusing a scan and opting for the more traditional security checks.