LITTLE ROCK A new body scanner that uses radio waves to search passengers for concealed items is expected to debut Friday at the Little Rock National Airport.
Officials with the Transportation Security Administration demonstrated how the new advanced imaging technology works during a news conference Friday shortly before real passengers were slated to go through the device.
Jerry Henderson, TSA federal security director in Arkansas, said the new machine offers increased privacy since screeners don't see an image of the actual passenger. Instead, if it detects something concealed, the screen comes back with a generic figure with the problem area highlighted. That passenger would then be patted down.
It's also speedy. As TSA employees posing as passengers went through the system for the demonstration Friday, they walked into the machine, raised their hands for 3 seconds and then were cleared or given a pat-down search.
"It allows us to resolve anomalies very quickly," Henderson said. "It should help us move people through the passenger checkpoint much more quickly and efficiently and effectively as well."
A second advanced imaging technology machine will be added to the Little Rock airport by Jan. 18. Fliers will still have the option of declining to go through the machine and being patted down instead, though Henderson said it causes no medical problems.