GSP security gets body scanners - FOX Carolina 21

GSP security gets body scanners

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A TSA agent goes through the body scanner at GSP. (June 21, 2012/FOX Carolina) A TSA agent goes through the body scanner at GSP. (June 21, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Air travelers are used to going through security - and now passengers flying from Greenville-Spartanburg International airport will walk through a new device before they board.

GSP has new body scanners that will eventually replace the traditional metal detector.

Transportation Security Administration officials were at GSP Thursday dressed in plain clothes to demonstrate how the scanners work and train local TSA agents.

So far, nearly 200 airports nationwide have the full body scanners that detect metallic and nonmetallic items.

GSP is the fourth airport in the state to get the new imaging devices, following Charleston, Columbia and Myrtle Beach. There are machines located at both the A and B gates at GSP.

SLIDESHOW: GSP gets body scanners

While body scanners have received negative attention for being too invasive, TSA agents said the image is generic and does not show personal outlines of anyone's body.

"It wasn't much of a big deal," said passenger James Brigida. "I was kind of surprised, never been through before but didn't seem to delay us at all... so we went through, they scanned us and went on."

Passengers said the process is quick and easy, and a few extra seconds for added security is worth it.

The TSA agrees. Jon Allen a TSA agent said the increased detection the scanners offer is important for security.

"We know the single greatest threat to aviation security is the improvised explosive device, which could consist of nonmetallic components," said Allen. "So imaging technology security provides the best way for us to detect such items."

The TSA uses two different types of body scanners. GSP's scanners use millimeter wave technology, which bounces harmless electromagnetic waves off the body to create the same generic image for all passengers.

For now, the body scanners are being used on a limited basis as training continues, but eventually, passengers who opt out of walking through the body scanners will have to submit to a pat down.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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SIDEBAR - GSP body scanners

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Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is the fourth in South Carolina to get full body scanners. Read more on how they work and improve security. More>>

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