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New body scanner at Guernsey Airport more efficient than manual searches

News | Published:

A NEW body scanner is now in service at Guernsey Airport, the first of its kind to be installed at a Channel Island airport.

It forms part of a comprehensive £1.5m. programme to refresh all passenger and baggage security scanning equipment.

'Most travellers will be familiar with whole-body scanners at UK airports and will know how quickly a scan of a person can be carried out compared to a manual search,' deputy head of aviation services for Guernsey Airport Steve Langlois said.

'It uses the latest technology, the scanner has step free access and is less restrictive in space than the older enclosed scanners used in some airports.

'If a passenger activates the archway metal detector, they will be asked to enter the scanner, rather than be subjected to a manual whole body search.'

If the scanner then indicated there is a problem, it will identify where on the person the issue is so security staff can perform a more targeted body search.

The design chosen provides an 'open-ended' device, rather than an enclosed 'capsule' type device encountered at some UK airports.

Passengers using a wheelchair will still be subjected to manual searching, in line with current UK government guidelines.

However, if those passengers are able to stand unaided, then the scanner - which has step-free access - can be used.

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The image captured by the scanner is a featureless, generic outline of a person being scanned.

The image highlights to security staff areas of the body that require further investigation.

Immediately after the scanning analysis is completed and the individual moves away from the security scanner, all data relating to the individual is permanently deleted.

Head of aviation services for Guernsey Airport Ash Nicholas said he was pleased to have this equipment installed by the airport maintenance team and the manufacturer, Rohde & Schwarz UK Ltd.

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It is the first phase of the programme of upgrades to the scanning equipment, reducing the need to carry out whole-body manual searches that can slow down passenger flows at peak times.

Airport security queues on Friday 26 July. (26091090)

'By having this equipment installed, Guernsey Airport is also meeting continually evolving aviation security regulations set by the UK government and audited by the UK Civil Aviation Authority,' Mr Nicholas said.

'We accept that queues have been excessive at peak times in order that we could maintain a compliant security screening process.

'Guernsey Airport is determined to improve the current situation at security, to increase passenger throughput and provide a positive customer experience.'

Work is continuing to upgrade other scanners at the airport which will help to improve the overall queue situation as more new equipment is installed.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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