A new era in travel security technology is being ushered in at Vancouver International Airport after the federal government yesterday announced full body scanners are being installed in airports across Canada.
Around 44 machines, which scan through clothing to produce a 3-D image of people’s bodies, will be installed in 11 airports from Vancouver to Halifax by spring, said Transportation Minister John Baird and Minister of State Rob Merrifield.
The machines allow a screening officer in another room to scan for weapons a metal detector may miss and will only be used for passengers singled out for secondary screening.
It’s a security measure some see as necessary after a Nigerian man carried explosives sewn into his underwear onto a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
The technology has stirred controversy because it produces a detailed outline of a person’s naked body, but the consensus at YVR yesterday was that it was an appropriate step in a world where terrorism continues to be a threat.
“Whatever keeps us safe,” said Henrietta Jonker, who was at YVR to catch a flight to Ontario. “Even if it were (mandatory) for everyone, I wouldn’t care.”
Jennifer Armstrong, who was on her way to Winnipeg, said it seemed like a small price to pay for safer air travel.
Trevor Cutts, who was at the airport to pick up his family from a holiday in Mexico, said it’s a “good idea” that should have been implemented last year to be up and running by the Olympics.
“I don’t mind showing my private parts for safety,” he said.