Melbourne Airport has begun installing body scanners at its international departures terminal as part of the Australian Federal Government’s $200 million Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative.
Scanners will operate together with walk-through metal detectors and screen randomly selected passengers for both metallic and non-metallic effects.
Melbourne is one of eight international airports in Australia to introduce the advanced screening technology following the passing of the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening Bill) by the Federal Parliament in August this year. Body scanners are already being used for aviation screening in the UK, Canada, Thailand, the Netherlands and the USA.
The scanners are designed to protect travellers’ privacy by displaying only a generic human silhouette that will be cleared once the scan is complete.
If passengers – or airport staff and crew – refuse to be scanned without a medical or physical reason they will be prohibited from boarding their flight.
Prior to their installation the scanners were trialled at Melbourne and Sydney Airports last year.