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No security scan – no boarding
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
PASSENGERS travelling from UK airports will not be able to refuse a body security scan, according to a statement issued by UK transport secretary, Justine Greening.

In a statement Greening said that she does not believe that a ‘pat down’ search is equivalent in security terms to a security scan.

“A full private search – involving the loosening and/or removal of clothing in the presence of security staff in a private room – would deliver a reasonable level of assurance. However, I believe that this is likely to represent a greater intrusion of privacy than a security scan and that nearly all passengers, if they fully understand the procedures, would be unlikely to opt for this alternative.”

She said a private search was also likely to be operationally disruptive to airports and other passengers. “Appropriately trained security staff would need to be diverted from the main search area to undertake these searches, leading to increased costs and longer queues for everyone else. I do not, therefore, believe that this represents a viable way forward.”

“Given the security arguments against permitting such an opt-out, and the threat level that exists in the UK, the Government intends to use its powers under the Aviation Security Act to maintain the current position. Those passengers selected for scanning will therefore not be able to fly if they are not willing to be scanned.”

The Editor
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