To spare passengers from physical frisking at security checks, airports in India will install body scanners from 2019.
Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) will soon come out with technical specifications of these scanners and then airports can install the machines.
Although full body scanners are new to India, this technology is widely used abroad, especially in the US.
This is expected to speed up the security check process for the Indian airports lacking adequate infrastructure and restrict the escalating manpower costs to provide security at the terminals.
Passengers will also have better travel experience following the installation of ful-body scanners.
he full-body scanners to be used in all airports are called “millimetre wave” machines, which bounce electromagnetic waves off the traveller to provide an animated image where a suspicious item might be located.
Central Industrial Security force (CISF) which handles security at India Gandhi International Airport revealed that as per a trial in December 2016, the machine was not able to adapt to the Indian way of dressing and gave false alarms whenever a woman wearing a sari passed through it. The scanner also found it difficult to detect objects concealed in footwear.
Post these several trails were conducted after modifying several specifications.
According to BCAS Chief Kumar Rajesh Chandra, they will be issuing the specifications and regulations for active and passive millimeter wave body scanners by early next year. This is being done after the trial runs were conducted successfully.
The scanners will be customised so that they can penetrate layers of clothes, such as the chunnat (front fold) of a sari, lungi and pallus.
While the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) insists on using the full body scanners to protect the country from terror attacks, critics challenge the use of devices over privacy and health concerns.
TSA deployed the machines and now uses 793 full-body scanners at 157 airports in 2016.US airports have been using full-body scanners since May 2013.