This week will see the adoption of a new body scanner to screen passengers at Tallinn Airport. The technology will make passing through security quicker and easier for travellers with prosthetics, implants and pacemakers.
The device enables the detection of prohibited items that differ from people’s skin and that are being carried on the body or beneath clothes.
Tallinn Airport’s Director of Flight Security Tarvi Pihlakas confirms that it is entirely up to passengers whether they submit themselves to screening in the body scanner. “Ordinary passengers will still pass through a metal detector during the security check, but instead of having to pat people down, additional screenings can now be conducted using the body scanner without the need for any physical contact,” he explained.
The L3 Communications Provision2 scanner, which was purchased as the result of an international procurement for 246,000 euros, ensures total privacy, since neither the passenger’s clothing nor their body are displayed on the monitor. “The operator’s only shown a sort of genderless mannequin, so there’s no need to worry that anyone will see something personal or inappropriate during the screening process,” Pihlakas said. Provision2 uses broadband radio waves, not X-rays, to screen passengers, making the procedure entirely safe.
The body scanner does not react to anything inside the body, such as prosthetic knees or hips or pacemakers, making it the most effective way of screening passengers in such situations. It will not be used for passengers with an insulin pump; if needed, security staff will screen such passengers manually.
The scanner does not record, copy or print images, retaining them only until the end of each screening. Every image is then deleted immediately. Images on the monitor are not linked to any other information related to passengers and anonymity is ensured. Passengers have the right to refuse to be screened in the body scanner, in which case they may be screened manually by security staff, as before.