Travelers can opt out of body scanning
TSA says little has changed at SLC airport, only thing to fear is crowds
by Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF
Posted: 12/27/2010 04:38:57 PM MST
People in Park City who are outbound this week have little to fear from changes to airport security, said Transportation Security Administration spokesperson Dwayne Baird. Media reports about new advanced imaging technology commonly referred to as body scanners have been greatly exaggerated, he said.
“There are still more walk-through metal detectors (than scanners). The changes are so minimal they should not the process,” he explained. “Less than three percent of the traveling public gets a pat down.”
There are only a few situations in which the pat down is required such as if a traveler triggers the metal detector alarm and the source of the metal cannot be found, or if a scanner reveals something suspicious under the clothing, Baird explained.
The advanced imaging technology takes about seven to 20 seconds to work, which is slightly longer than walking through a metal detector. Because most travelers wait longer than 20 seconds for their bags to be checked, getting through security takes no more or less time than previously, he said.
If a pat down is required, it takes two to four minutes, but the wait time may be longer.
Baird said travelers have no reason to believe getting through security at Salt Lake City International Airport will take more or less time than previously.
Barbara Gann, airport spokesperson, said people are encouraged to be at their terminal 90 minutes before a domestic flight, and two hours before an international flight.
A high level of activity is expected this week, but no major problems are anticipated.
“Traffic is smooth, we’re not expecting extraordinary crowds,” she added.
The only caution she gave is that pick-up and drop-off areas are always busier than usual during holidays because more people accompany the traveler.
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