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LAX gets two more full-body scanners

The new units unveiled in Terminal Six serve carriers including United, Continental and JetBlue. Two others have been in use at the Los Angeles airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal.

July 21, 2010|By Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

Federal and city officials Tuesday unveiled the addition of two full-body scanners at Los Angeles International Airport as part of a plan to install the high-tech screeners at every terminal there over the next few months.

Two units — each about the size of a refrigerator — have already been in use at the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal. The new units unveiled Tuesday are in Terminal 6 serving United, Continental, JetBlue and other carriers.

Officials from the city of Los Angeles and the Transportation Security Administration vowed to press for scanners at each of the nine terminals.

"We feel very strongly at LAX that we want as many of these AIT (advanced imaging technology) scanners as TSA will provide," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

The units, built by Rapiscan Systems of Torrance, range from $130,000 to $170,000. The scanners rely on advanced imaging technology to create what resembles a nude digital image of screened passengers, allowing security screeners to look for weapons or other items hidden under clothing.

In response to questions about privacy concerns, the mayor noted that passengers who refuse to go through the scanners can instead opt to undergo a full-body pat-down search.

"If they feel they are too intrusive and they want a pat-down search, then they can do that," Villaraigosa said.

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