Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

'No scan, no flight' at Heathrow and Manchester

A computer screen showing the results of a full body scan
Electromagnetic waves are beamed onto passengers to create a 3D image

Some passengers at Heathrow and Manchester airports will have to go through full body scanners before boarding their flights under new rules.

It is now compulsory for people selected for a scan to take part, or they will not be allowed to fly.

The new security rules have been introduced following the attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day.

There have been concerns the scanners breach passengers' rights to privacy.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said in the immediate future only a small proportion of airline passengers would be selected for scanning.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, he said: "If a passenger is selected for scanning, and declines, they will not be permitted to fly."

The scanners were introduced at the two airports on Monday and will be installed at Birmingham later in the month.

Privacy protection

The machine has been used at Manchester Airport's Terminal 2 since October, with additional scanners planned for Terminals 1 and 3 by the end of February.

The Department of Transport has published an interim code of practice covering privacy, health and safety, data protection and equality issues.

"The code will require airports to undertake scanning sensitively, having regard to the rights of passengers," Lord Adonis said.

Manchester Airport said it had put strict procedures in place to protect the privacy of passengers.

Its head of customer experience, Sarah Barrett, said: "It will enhance security for everyone, which can only be a good thing, without compromising people's privacy.

"The image generated by the body scanner cannot be stored or captured nor can security officers viewing the images recognise people."

The equipment does not allow security staff to see passengers naked, she added.

A rule which meant under 18s were not allowed to participate in the body scanner trial has been overturned by the government.

The introduction of body scanners has sparked a wide debate, and even the home secretary has admitted it will not be a "magic bullet".

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to detonate a bomb on a flight from Amsterdam as it was about to land in Detroit.

How different body scanners work



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Security scaled up at UK airports
05 Jan 10 |  UK Politics
EU split over airport body scans
07 Jan 10 |  Europe
Q&A: 'Jet bomber' case
06 Jan 10 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific