Changi Airport tests new body scanner that ensures more privacy, faster boarding

The new systems under trial are a CT equipment for hand baggage screening and an advanced body scanning machine.

Singapore's Changi Airport is testing two advanced security screening systems that aim to increase the efficiency of checkpoint processes.

The new systems under trial are a CT equipment for hand baggage screening and an advanced body scanning machine.

The new body scanner will make a full-body patdowns redundant in most cases and will offer more privacy for the passengers. The new scanner will non-invasively spot objects on the travellers' clothing or body.

Instead of putting passengers through metal detectors for security checks, the new body scanner machine will use millimetre wave technology to detect metallic and non-metallic items.

The millimetre wave technology analyses data by a computer algorithm and identifies any concealed item. The technology is non-invasive and it outlines the image of the item, which a security officer can zoom in for further checks if found suspicious.

The new computed tomography (CT) equipment under trial will allow passengers to complete the security screening processes without taking out electronic devices like laptops and tablets form their bags. This will result in reduced waiting time for passengers.

"With CT, because it provides a 360-degree view, or 3D image for security screening, we are now able to allow passengers to keep their electronic items in the bag, thereby reducing the need to unpack, repack, and allow them to pass through security screening a lot faster," said Alan Tan, Changi Airport Group's vice-president of aviation security.

Changi airport authorities also said another system under trial is an automatic tray return system that allows two passengers to simultaneously deposit their bags at the same time.

The trays automatically return to the line after each screening cycle is completed and a screening officer does not have to manually transfer the trays.

"The data and passenger feedback we collect from the trials will help us assess the effectiveness and operational efficiencies of these new systems, before we ascertain their suitability for implementation at the airport," Tan added.

Explaining the benefits of the new security technologies, the officials said the millimetre wave security scanners emit considerably less amount of electromagnetic radiation than other systems.

The trials will continue up until June this year, Changi airport authorities said.