Body scanners for increasing security at Australian airports
Australia, February 10: In a bid to increase security at Australia’s airports, the Federal Government has introduced body scanners.
This effort is a part of $200 million boost to security at various airports in the country in the wake of attempted terrorist attack on a US airliner this Christmas.
The details about the beefed up security measures at Australian airports were given by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Apart from body scanners, increased intelligence co-operation and cargo x-ray screening will be part of the $200 million program. Bottle scanners will be used to detect liquid-based explosives and the number of detection dogs will be increased at major airports. This program will be spread over a period of four years.
The body scanners will be rolled out from next year by Australian immigration at country’s international airports.
Rudd stated yesterday that no country could afford have any laxity in terms of security measures, especially after unsuccessful attempt was made by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national, to explode explosives at a Northwest Airlines plane was approaching Detroit.
The security and safety of Australians is, undoubtedly, the highest priority of the Australian government, asserted Rudd. Hence, apart from a continual review of aviation security, a $65 million (equivalent to $53 Australian dollars) package was announced for 11 major airports in the 2009’s annual budget.
The roll out body scanners will peek through the clothes to reveal images of almost naked travelers. These machines have the ability to reveal objects which metal detectors are unable to show.
However, the introduction of such body scanners in airports abroad has invited criticism from far and wide.
Even the government agrees that these body scanners will pose an inconvenience to the travelers since body scanners allow travelers to be seen naked while they move about in and out of airports. Also, deployment of body scanners will result in airport delays, admitted Rudd.
But, he reiterated that privacy of Australian travelers is the topmost priority for the government of Australia.