Body scanners to be installed at Bhubaneswar Airport soon

Bhubaneswar: In view of rampant gold and ammunition smuggling through airports, body scanners will be installed soon at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here in Odisha capital.

As per the order by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the body scanners will be made mandatory at all the major airports within a year.

The body scanning device will be made mandatory at all the other airports in two years, the BCAS informed on Thursday.

The body scanners will be installed replacing existing door frame metal detectors and hand-held scanners besides pat-down searches of passengers to detect metallic objects.

According to reports, of around 105 operational airports in the country at present, 28 are classified as hypersensitive and 56 airports are categorized as sensitive. While hypersensitive and sensitive airports will install body scanners in first phase, the device will be installed at Bhubaneswar Airport accordingly.

On a query about installation of body scanners at airport in Bhubaneswar, the BPIA Director Suresh Chandra Hota said, “We have conveyed our requirements to AAI headquarters. It will be procured centrally.”

Currently, the frisking at the airport is being conducted with metal detectors and hand-held scanners apart from searches of passengers by CISF personnel.

However, the existing frisking system fails to detect metallic and non-metallic objects concealed on the body.

“The gold smuggling through Bhubaneswar Airport has been rampant since its operation as the International airport. As the walk-through metal detectors and hand-held metal detectors cannot detect all the items including metallic and non-metallic weapons and explosives, the smugglers manage to sneak gold into the country through the airport. Keeping such incidents in mind, we have requested the Centre to install body scanners here at the airport,” said a senior official of BPIA.

However, the body scanner will provide image-free solution using a generic mannequin and threats will be graphically presented. The machines will generate images with full body contours.

The passengers will have to remove their jackets, thick clothing, shoes, belts as well as all metallic items before entering into the body scanner. The device will scan the body and click the photograph like mannequin. On the mannequin-like image, if the scanner detects something suspicious on the body, a yellow spot will be created highlighting the area that may need further screening.

The body scanner machine is based on millimetre wave technology comprising non-ionising electromagnetic radiation, which means it is safe for all passengers, including pregnant women.

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