Faster Full-Body Scans Coming to Airports

New machines could replace metal detectors
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2009 11:11 AM CST
A woman is scanned by airport security before entering the gate area at the airport in Cancun, Mexico, on Sept. 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Israel Leal)
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(Newser) – In the wake of last week's attempted attack on a Detroit-bound flight, security companies say they're working on new body-scanning machines that search out threats like plastic explosives in an instant and could replace airport metal detectors. Similar scanners are used today at 19 US airports, but they take a relatively long 30 seconds or so because passengers have to stand in a glass area with their arms up.

The new machines are "as quick as going through a metal detector," one manufacturer tells USA Today. "You don't even stop walking." The TSA is testing them and plans to install 150 in airports next year, while ordering another 300. Privacy advocates complain they're a little too detailed, but the renewed call for better security could override those concerns.

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