Hancock Airport Passengers Will See Full Body Scan Security This Holiday Travel Season

Dec 4, 2014

Full Body Scanning screeners are enhancing security at Hancock Airport
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
  Those traveling out of Hancock International Airport this holiday season should expect some changes in airport security. The airport has put in new devices where people undergo full body scans instead of just walking through a metal detector. It's called Advanced Imaging Technology...or AIT.  

TSA Federal Security Director Brian Johansson says it helps ensure the highest level of security against terrorism.

 "Our adversaries are really focusing on non-metallic improvised explosive devices. So anything that has metal in it we can detect. Those metal detectors are great at detecting metal but our biggest threat right now is the non-metallic IED. This technology allows us to find non-metallic things that are hidden on a person's body under their clothes."

If an object is detected on a passenger, a TSA officer can find out if it's keys, or a cell phone or something of more concern. Johansson admits some people were uncomfortable with full body scans initially,  but he's confident passenger privacy is protected. 

TSA Security Director Brian Johansson calls the image a "gingerbread man" relieving any fears of invasion of someone's privacy from the scan. Any pat-downs are handled by same-sex officers.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

"This is what I call the gingerbread man or gingerbread woman. So whether you're my height, this tall, this wide or this thin it's the same image male or female. It just doesn't matter that's what we see."

The TSA says the devices meet all known national and international health and safety standards and the energy emitted from the equipment is 1,000 times less than the international limits and guidelines. Some passengers will be using the technology this holiday season.