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X-ray machine produces 'naked' pictures of airline passengers

[ 2010-01-19 13:35]     字号 [] [] []  
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China has not ruled out the possibility of installing body scanners at major airports, a top civil aviation official said.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is still considering the pros and cons of the body scanner, since it involves passengers' privacy the head of CAAC, has revealed.

"It is our concern that while we must ensure flight safety, passengers should not feel deprived of dignity or freedom when going through security checks," he said.

The United States has announced plans to install full body scanners at all its major airports following a foiled Christmas Day plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. So far, media reports said 19 American airports already use at least one such scanner.

The use of the machines, which cost $200,000 each, has sparked a heated debate over privacy because scanning penetrates packaging and clothing, and produces a "naked" image of passengers.

No matter how advanced the security measures are, it is not possible to close every loophole, Chinese counter-terrorism expert Li Wei said.

The CAAC has not come to the final decision, but Li said security checks at major airports have been strengthened to the level of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Nine security measures have been added, including deploying more air police in plain clothes onboard airplanes and giving more hand checks on luggage.

A second security check is also arranged for passengers boarding high-risk flights, especially flights to the United States, he said.

But airplane passengers said the tightened security checks resulted in a longer time to board flights, and a quickened security check process is preferred, even if it means that privacy might be exposed.

Two officers were giving passengers a pat-down, while four others, standing behind steel tables, searched every bag.

Cheng Yuan, a Chinese student who flew from Beijing to the US on Jan 13 went through the security procedure at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

"The full-body scanner is acceptable... Exposing one's body to only a couple of security officers is nothing," he said.


1. How much does one of the full body scanning machines cost?

2. How many new security measures have been added?

3. Whose decision is it to install the scanners?


1. $200,000.

2. 9 New security measure.

3. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CACC).


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

X-ray machine produces 'naked' pictures of airline passengers

X-ray machine produces 'naked' pictures of airline passengers

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for China Daily for one year.