New Security Scanners Active in Louisville International Airport

by Devin Katayama on February 27, 2012

Passengers at the Louisville International Airport may be the first to pass through new security scanners that were activated over the weekend.

Both Louisville and Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport are the latest to receive the new body scanners, which around 140 airports already have in place. When passengers pass through the scanners, they’ll be able to see a generic outline of a human body, not like other scanners that show more detailed and individualized body images, said Jim Fotenos, Transportation Security Administration spokesman.

“The vast majority of passengers that come through are simply going to see a green screen that says ok and they’ll be clear to proceed to their flight. The millimeter wave software does not use a passenger specific image. It uses the same image for all passengers and its almost an avatar if you will,” he said.

Louisville is using the new scanners in addition to the metal detectors that are currently in place, he said. The scanners offer more security and can detect items like plastic, liquids or gels and will not replace other methods the TSA uses to screen passengers, said Fotenos.

The TSA assures the scanners are safe.

“Those (scanners) use harmless electromagnetic or radio waves. It bounces off the passenger to look for anomalies or inconsistencies, items that may be concealed. And the electromagnetic waves–the exposure from those is about 10,000 less than a cell phone,” he said.

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