John Wayne Airport to get upgraded full-body scanners


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John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana will be the latest Southern California airport to receive the full-body scanners that can screen passengers without creating what looks like a nude image of them.

The Transportation Security Administration confirmed last week that the agency plans to install the scanners at all three of the airport’s terminals, including the new Terminal C set to open next month.


The machines use a special technology—called millimeter wave—to spot objects hidden under passengers’ clothes. With a new software upgrade, the machine shows a picture of a generic passenger and highlights a part of the picture where the machine indicates a hidden object may be found.

Similar machines are in use at Ontario International Airport, as well as in dozens of airports nationwide.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles International Airport—the nation’s fifth busiest airport—still uses the machines that create what looks like a nude image of passengers.

Those machines use a different technology, known as backscatter, and the TSA has not approved a software upgrade for those machines. TSA officials say they hope to have a software upgrade approved for the backscatter machines in the next few months.


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-- Hugo Martin