'Naked' body scanners scrapped

Last updated 07:28 19/09/2012
Naked Body Scanner
PHIL NOBLE/ Reuters
The RapiScan full body scanners produced ghostly, detailed images of people.

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Controversial ''naked'' airport body scanners are to be scrapped in Europe after failing to receive approval.

The machines, which have been tested at European terminals since 2009, scan passengers' clothes for any concealed items, creating a detailed ghost-like image of the body.

Despite only being viewed by security staff, critics have said the scanners are invaders of privacy and pose a health risk, though independent health experts found that was untrue.

European airports can no longer use the devices from the end of October, after the European Commission refused to give permissions in time for an existing three-year trial to be made permanent, The Guardian reported.

Manchester Airport, the last in Britain to still be using the scanners, told the Daily Mail it will now have spend about NZ$2.1 million to replace the devices.

Andrew Harrison, the chief operating officer at Manchester Airport Group, told The Guardian they are baffled by the decision "because health experts say they are safe".

He said the overwhelming majority of their passengers and security staff prefer body scanners to frisking.

"And it's frustrating that Brussels has allowed this successful trial to end."

Only 23 of the millions of passengers in the past three years refused to use the scanners, he said.

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