A new full-body airport security scanner is slashing waiting times by allowing passengers to pass through without lifting their hands in the air.
Denver International Airport launched the technology last week, which also aims to make the screening process more comfortable.
The scanner works in much the same way as the old one, but the simple change of no longer having to hold up your hands is set to revolutionise passing through security.
Larry Nau, a director at Transportation Security Administration which will operate the new machinery, told The Colorado Sun: ‘The real speed is the determination on, “Is there a threat item on the body?”
‘That’s much quicker — seconds quicker. When you’re processing over 70,000 travelers a day, seconds pick up. They make a difference.’
He also noted how the technology will be easier to use for those who find it difficult to lift their hands over their head.
No longer will passengers have to enter a large scanner and have a mechanical device swing around them – instead they will stand in-between two large vertical scanners.
Kim Day, CEO of the American airport, claims it is the first in the country to use the technology – although they have also been trialed elsewhere in the world.
Scientists have been working on new scanners designed for use at airport security for some time now – in a bid to slash to long waiting times.
What is so special about these new scanners?
The device works in much the same way as full body scanners already in place at airports across the country.
It is designed to detect objects concealed underneath a passenger’s clothing using a form of electromagnetic radiation.
Previously someone would be asked to step inside a unit where the scanner mechanism can be rotated around their body.
But the new scanner can complete the necessary checks simply by asking someone to stand in-between two units – not even requiring them to lift their arms.
It is also said to carry out the process seconds quicker than the older units – slashing waiting times at an airport.
Experts at Cardiff University and QMC Instruments trialed a new scanner at Cardiff Airport between December 4 and 7.
It would also no longer require passengers to remove jackets or items from their pockets at security.
The walk-through scanner uses sensors originally designed to detect astronomical activity in deep space and has applied the technology to assessing the human body.
Ken Wood, sales and marketing director of Sequestim, the joint venture between the university and QMC Instruments, said: ‘Passenger numbers are expected to double in 20 years, putting airport security facilities under immense pressure.
‘Our scanner combines a number of world-leading technologies developed by our team here in the UK. It uses the human body as a source of ‘light’, in contrast with existing scanners which process reflected and scattered millimetre-waves while the passenger is required to strike a pose.
‘Our system only needs a few seconds to do its work. Passengers walking normally through security would no longer need to take off coats and jackets, or remove personal items such as phones.’
The project is one of eight to have received funding from £1.8 million ($2.3 million) made available by the Government through a defence and security accelerator competition.