Department of Homeland Security announced last week Memphis International was one of eight airports receiving full-body scanners, which can detect hidden objects on a person.
The scanners, also called Advanced Imaging Technology units, are being installed at four different checkpoints throughout the airport as an additional security measure. Currently, there are 194 full-body scanners at 51 airports.
Transportation Security Administration began using AIT in 2007. Earlier this year, the agency began deploying nationally 450 more advanced imaging technology units, which were bought with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
Travelers still will have to remove shoes and pass through a metal detector, but this will be an added layer of security, John Greaud, vice president of operations at Memphis International, told Memphis Business Journal.
“People who go through security will still have the standard security process done,” he said.
Over the course of testing imaging technology, more than 98 percent of passengers chose this technology over alternative screening procedures, such as a pat down, according TSA.
An evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory found that the radiation doses for individuals being screened were well below the dose limits specified by the American National Standards Institute. The energy projected by millimeter wave technology is thousands of times less than a cellphone transmission. A single scan using backscatter technology produces exposure equivalent to two minutes of flying on an airplane, according to TSA.