SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - A new layer of security is now in place at Spokane International Airport as body scanners have now been installed to screen passengers heading out of the Lilac City.
The TSA now has 165 units in place at 44 airports nationwide. Despite widespread criticism, the TSA says passengers choose the body scanners 98 percent of the time over alternative search methods like a pat-down.
The scanner at SIA is a first for Washington State; Seattle Tacoma International Airport still uses just metal detectors, though they will be getting body scanners soon.
Depending on how you look at it body scanners are the lesser of two evils; you can choose between a body scan or a pat-down and metal detector.
The scan takes about eight seconds and produces an image of you, under your clothes, something closer to an outline or silhouette than a picture. The body scanners are designed to see stuff under your clothes that a metal detector would miss.
The first of Spokane International?s body scanners was installed two weeks ago.
?We look at the technology as another layer of deterrent, one of our multi-layers of deterrent for activities out here,? SIA spokesman Todd Woodard said.
Now when you go through the line for the A and B concourses you have a choice to either go through the metal detector and get a pat-down or choose the new body scanner with no pat-down.
While there is only the metal detector available at the C Concourse, plans are in place for getting a body scanner at that concourse as well.
TSA is installing around 350 more body scanners at airports this year and another 500 by the end of 2011.