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Airport scanners will get ‘under’ passengers’ skin

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MANILA, Philippines–Eight scanners that may help security personnel detect if a passenger is carrying too much cash, illegal drugs or explosives on their person and even underneath the skin will be installed in four of the country’s major airports by the end of the year ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit to be held in Manila in 2015.

The devices called Passive Millimeter Wave Scanners will undergo testing before they are set up at the airports, according to Roberto Villanueva, deputy administrator at the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

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Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminals 1 and 3, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City will each get two of the scanners.

Security personnel have been relying on airport X-ray machines and stop-and-frisk measures to detect contraband like excess cash, illegal drugs and explosives on passengers. They also resort to profiling passengers, Villanueva said.

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He said that with the new state-of-the-art equipment, airport security personnel would be able to see from the silhouette of passengers on their computer screens if they are carrying items that are banned.

“It would be easier for our personnel to check incoming passengers using this reliable equipment,” he said.

Each scanner is projected to cost P6 million, Villanueva added.

The devices use millimeter-wave imaging-enabling energy that can pass through clothing to give an idea of what a person is carrying on him or her.

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TAGS: airports, Passive Millimeter Wave Scanners, Philippines, scanners, Security
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