UK airports will use body scanners

UK airports will use body scanners

The Department of Transport is expected to instruct airports to use full body scanners on passengers at UK airports following the terrorist attempt to blow up a Delta Airlines jet on Christmas Day.

Heathrow is expected to be using the new scanners within a few weeks, with other airports set to follow suit over the coming months.

There will also be an additional “patting down” search of passengers just before they board the plane at the flight gate, and the use of swabs on hand luggage to detect any contact with explosives.

European Union laws say that body scanners can only be used as an emergency security measure, with members of the European Parliament claiming they amount to a virtual “strip search”. This suggests it will be very difficult for the body scanners to become standard across European states.

There could also be further changes on board flights, with passengers movements being restricted for the final hour of the flight.

Terror suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is believed to have tried to set off an explosive device hidden in his underwear during the final 20 minutes of a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

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