Chicago airport gets full-body scanner

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 13:37

Chicago: Chicago`s O`Hare International
airport got its first full-body scanner today, with US
authorities expecting more such machines to be installed soon
as part of stepped-up security measures in the wake of the
botched Christmas Day attempt by al-Qaeda to blow up a plane.

The scanner, which sees through a person`s clothing to
reveal explosives or weapons, was installed at the airport`s
Terminal one. It resembles two blue telephone booths standing
side-by-side.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Director at
O`Hare Kathleen Petrowsky said she anticipates the body scans
-- currently optional for passengers -- will become mandatory
soon.

Passengers who refuse to go through these scanners on
grounds that they are an invasion of privacy have the option
to submit to a physical pat-down by a TSA officer using a
metal detector.

City officials said they expect more body-imaging
technology to be installed at O`Hare later this year.

So far, 21 airports across the country have been equipped
with the units and nine more are slated to receive the
scanners soon.

TSA plans to deploy a total of 450 body scanners across
US airports this year, after the failed December 25 attempt
last year to blow up a Detroit-bound flight by an
al-Qaeda-trained Nigerian bomber who had hidden explosives in
his underwear.

PTI




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