Two thirds of travellers are in favour of plans to install body scanners in airports, according to the latest poll on travel search site Skyscanner (www.Skyscanner.net).
66% voted that airport scanners were a good idea as they would speed up security checks and improve security, whilst 30% said that they disapproved, largely on health and privacy grounds. (4% gave other answers).
Over 400 people voted in the poll, and the results clearly showed that most travellers were in favour of the scanners.
Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and business director commented:
“As long as the machines are safe and any potential privacy issues can be solved, travellers are in favour of anything which will make flying safer and security checks faster. If it saves me from having to take my shoes off, empty my pockets and remove my belt, I’m all for them.”
The Skyscanner poll did reveal that some travellers had concerns over the safety of the scanning machines, specifically the health issues of being x-rayed. However, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) say the technology is harmless, and that the amount of radiation produced is minimal, equating to what a person would naturally receive in just two minutes of flying on an airplane.
Other respondents believed that the scanners would not increase passenger safety; Skyscanner user Vasco Sotomaior left a message on Skyscanner’s Facebook page explaining his reasons for being against the scanners:
“There’s no use for them. The threat exists, but it is so little that it doesn’t justify them. The current measures are more than enough”.
Trials with the body scanners are already taking place in some airports and train stations across Europe and the US, including Manchester Airport in the UK. The technology blurs facial details ensuring that passengers cannot be recognised and images are viewed by staff in walled-off rooms where they cannot see travellers who are being checked.
Passengers who prefer not to be scanned will be able to opt for the traditional pat down check instead.