Delhi airport resumes trial of body security scanners

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Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) has again started the trial of body scanners, after airports across the country missed a March 2022 deadline to deploy them.

Body scanners can detect non-metallic objects, which are difficult to detect with the conventional door frame metal detector.

Delhi International Airport Limited, which operates IGI Airport, said on Tuesday it had installed a full body scanner in the Terminal 2 security screening area, and testing would be carried out in real time. that is, passengers should pass through it during the security check before proceeding to the security hold area. In April 2019, the Civil Aviation Security Board made it mandatory for 84 airports – 26 hypersensitive airports and 58 sensitive airports – to deploy full-body scanners within one year. This deadline was later extended to March 2022 following the COVID-19 outbreak and also because airports were reluctant to pay for expensive technology. The country’s remaining airports have until December 2022 to implement the technology. We learn that while the airports have requested another extension, the BCAS has put its foot down. “We have already given airports two years. Our deadline was flouted on the grounds that it was expensive technology, and then there was COVID-19. We have now told the airports that they must implement our directive,” BCAS Deputy Director General Jaideep Prasad said. The Hindu. In 2016 and 2017, several rounds of trials were conducted at Delhi airport for BCAS, following which the aviation safety regulator recommended millimeter wave technologies instead of backscatter and full transmission technologies. X-rays. This was after consulting the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), which had expressed concerns about frequent exposure of passengers to X-rays. This technology also addresses privacy concerns raised by passengers during testing, as it produces a figure or mannequin image instead of a naked image. There are several reasons why airports have delayed buying body scanners. “The technical specifications required by BCAS call for the scanners to detect any restricted item, but testing by German company Rohde and Schwarz, as well as L3 Harris Technologies (whose biometric security detection and automation portfolio has now been acquired by Leidos) failed to meet these requirements,” an airport official explained.

Delhi airport uses Leidos body scanners

The person added that airports are also worried about the impact on passenger throughput, or passenger flow, and the unlikely impact of this expensive technology (each scanner costs ₹4 crore-₹5 crore) on reducing labor deployment. “Passengers will be required to dispose of many items before going through the body scanners, which will take time. Then the scanner will generate several alarms and you will need security personnel to identify their cause,” the official said. The Airports Authority of India also had to withdraw its tender for 198 body scanners launched in 2019 after deciding to buy the equipment from Chinese company Nuctech because a government notice prohibited purchases from neighboring countries. following a stalemate at LAC.

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