Govt may introduce full-body scanner at airports

The proposals would be put forth before the Union Home Ministry after which the Cabinet Committee on Security would take a final decision. Restructuring of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is among the entire gamut of activities relating to aviation security which would come up for review.

Disclosing this while inaugurating a two-day Regional Aviation Security Conference here, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said: “The need to introduce this technology is being felt in India. Some experimentation is being carried out in Delhi”.

Stressing caution, Ravi said: “Several issues, including medical and privacy, have to be sorted out. There are also questions relating to efficacy and efficiency of these equipment. We will have to be careful before taking any decision. All aspects have to be carefully considered,” he said, adding that “nothing has been finalised so far.”

In this context, the US government is bringing a law to forbid the posting of an airline passenger's full-body body scanner image on the internet.

The proposed legislation, introduced last week in the US Congress, would criminalise any such posting and impose on violators fine of up to $ 1,00,000 and jail term of up to one year, official sources said quoting reports.

Noting that India has successfully undertaken audit of all major aviation security activities, including air cargo security, the minister added that airline industry in India has grown by about 400 per cent in the last seven years.

With a domestic passenger base of over 50 million, India now ranks fourth after the US, China and Japan. It is the fastest growing and ninth largest aviation market in the world.

The travel of international passengers to and from India would grow to the tune of 50 million by the year 2015. “India’s domestic passenger growth is expected to continue to grow at the rate of 9 to 10 per cent to reach a level of 180 million passengers by the year 2015 and 270-300 million by 2020. In 2010 we have managed to achieve a growth of about 19 per cent in domestic passenger traffic over 2009,” he added.

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