According to the article, the reason wasn't because of safety issues, but because of a congressional mandate that required Rapiscan to install software to make the process less invasive. Rapiscan has failed to comply with the mandate, and thus they are being given the boot.
The L-3 millimeter wave machines will remain in place, with 60 more of them on order. In addition, the TSA has signed contracts with Smiths Detection and American Science & Engineering. Smiths Detection (infamous for those old puffer machines) will be providing a new millimeter wave scanner, and American Science & Engineering will be providing a new less invasive backscatter X-ray scanner.
I wonder what will PHX be getting. I hope it is the Smiths Detection MMW scanner.
[Edited 2013-01-18 17:46:52]
The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4702 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6385 times:
Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 5): Freedom of movement is a right recognized by the courts however, as is the 4th amendment to the US constitution.
And the removal of your right to fly is not considered abridgment of your right to travel within the country (you can still drive), and a search incident to flying is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 17900 posts, RR: 57 Reply 7, posted (10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6379 times:
I'm glad to see them go. We've learned over the years that doses of X-ray radiation that we thought were "safe" turned out not to be. One thing that got drilled into my head in my medical training over and over and over was that "there is no such thing as a safe amount of X-rays."
So when they started X-irradiating the population at "super low doses that won't cause any problems, we promise!" you can understand that I was a bit skeptical. We have heard this reassurance before. Not to mention that there is a perfectly acceptable alternative that doesn't involve X-rays.
As for the scans, having seen how the data are presented now, they aren't invasive, per se. They're an inconvenience and a nuisance, but no worse than metal detectors, I guess. And less guesswork on when you're supposed to walk in. And I doubt they're saving our scans for very long (if at all) because imagine the sheer volume...
All in all, I find it tragic that we as a species have built these incredible machines to carry us through the air at mind-boggling speeds and bring us together... and some use them to try to tear us apart. And so the solution is more incredible machines. We are our own worst enemy.
FlyingSicilian From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 958 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6348 times:
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6): And the removal of your right to fly is not considered abridgment of your right to travel within the country (you can still drive), and a search incident to flying is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.
Depends on the type and scope of search, some of which is still being adjudicated. And with the TSA putting VIPR teams on roads in Tennessee and CBP internal checkpoints, in some cases you actually cannot drive...
And being given an extra dose of radiation, which the BSX (not MMW) machines do, is not part of the first trials that covered the subject.
Skydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 911 posts, RR: 10 Reply 9, posted (10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6317 times:
Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3): Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 1):
So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.
Dang, the irony of lecturing a long-time member, with seven times the number of posts, about flying.
Some of us have flown hundreds, if not a thousand flights for decades prior to the TSA-imposed shit, and have never been a threat to airplanes or the well-being of other passengers. Many who have to travel by air frequently for buisiness believe they should have the right to do so without being intrusively scrutinized by big brother in a back room.
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4702 posts, RR: 4 Reply 11, posted (10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6292 times:
Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 8): And being given an extra dose of radiation, which the BSX (not MMW) machines do, is not part of the first trials that covered the subject.
...which is exactly why the TSA gave us the bypass-'n'-grope option.
Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 8): And with the TSA putting VIPR teams on roads in Tennessee and CBP internal checkpoints, in some cases you actually cannot drive...
Plaintiffs challenging these sorts of measures haven't gotten much of anywhere so far, but IMO have a much better chance of eventually prevailing than plaintiffs trying to challenge airport searches.
The only type of airport search that would be at all likely to be held to be a constitutional violation is one where the person being searched is not free to decline the search and leave. That doesn't describe the TSA screening procedure.
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 17900 posts, RR: 57 Reply 13, posted (10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6276 times:
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 11): However, and I ask this with no knowledge on your kind of level...the argument of being exposed to more radiation if your flying than the machines emit...what are your musings?
Probably true. Again, if there is an alternative without X-rays, why on earth would you choose X-rays? Also, you do not get hit with X-rays that much at altitude (AFAIK).
And naturally someone sitting in the aisle seat gets less radiation than someone sitting in front of a window. I still like the window...but I don't fly that much.
TSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2979 posts, RR: 5 Reply 14, posted (10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6199 times:
While I'm happy to see the Rapiscan BKSX machines leave the airports, I find it necessary to point out that the TSA has not indicated it will stop using BKSX technology for scanning passengers at airports.
From the article linked in the opening post of this thread-
"TSA has contracted with L-3, Smiths Group and American Science & Engineering Inc. for new body-image scanners, all of which must have privacy software. L-3 and Smiths used millimeter-wave technology. American Science uses backscatter."
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2135 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6186 times:
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14): And naturally someone sitting in the aisle seat gets less radiation than someone sitting in front of a window. I still like the window...but I don't fly that much.
Radiation shielding is mainly a mass effect - the more mass between you and the radiation source, the less you'll get. An inch of lead, four inches of aluminum or glass* or a foot of water will all do about the same. Now windows are substantially thicker and heavier than the aluminum hull of an aircraft (glass and whatnot are significantly weaker and more brittle an Al alloy, so they need to be much thicker to get the same structural strength), so you'd get *less* radiation through the window, than if you were sitting next to aluminum fuselage. Just because the windows are transparent to ~600nm photons, *doesn't'* mean they're transparent to gammas (and, in fact, they're not).
That being said, in the center of the aircraft you'd get less angular area shielded by the heavier window, but you'd also have more interior fittings (seats, overhead bins and whatnot) and other passengers** between you and the hull. And then the direction comes into play. So it's hard to say.
I'd not lose too much sleep over it.
*a ballpark number for common glasses – the actual densities of the immense variety of glasses and glass-like materials vary considerably
**be sure to thank your seat mate for the radiation he’s absorbing for you – he’s likely stopping more radiation for you than any part of the hull
Maverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5228 posts, RR: 6 Reply 16, posted (10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6176 times:
Quoting usflyguy (Reply 3): So don't fly. Flying isn't a right, it's a privilege.
Freedom of movement without waiving your 4th and 10th Amendment rights, is indeed a right. This ain't Soviet Russia.
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6): And the removal of your right to fly is not considered abridgment of your right to travel within the country (you can still drive)
That's about as good as saying you are subject to a full police search walking down 4th Avenue, because you can always walk down 3rd or 5th Avenues, even though that would take you longer and be out of your way.
Oh, and I take it you haven't heard about the VIPR teams. Can't even drive anymore. Argument invalidated.
The 4th Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant signed by a judge, is an absolute right with no exclusions in times of peace.
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6): and a search incident to flying is not a violation of the 4th Amendment.
The courts have held that a "basic administrative search" to enter certain public areas is allowed. What the TSA has been doing is going far above and beyond that by forcing passengers to either submit to a scan that produces a near-nude image, or submitting to an invasive patdown and possible strip-search.
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 12):
The only type of airport search that would be at all likely to be held to be a constitutional violation is one where the person being searched is not free to decline the search and leave
Unfortunately, SCOTUS has ruled that once the person has submitted to the search, they are not allowed to withdraw consent.
It's a ruling that I find on par with Plessy v Ferguson.
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 11):
As a secondary question, are people who do not sit at a window "suffer" less?
Irrelevant. The radiation a person is exposed to at altitude is from a natural source.
spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3365 posts, RR: 13 Reply 20, posted (10 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5972 times:
Glad these are going and don't really buy for a minute that it wasn't because of the public outcry. The public outcry is what led to the congressional mandate in the first place, now the government's terminating the contract only because the "timeline" couldn't be met. The timeline is an arbitrary date somebody picked; it could always be moved if the government actually wanted to keep this contract. They obviously didn't; this gave them a way out, and an easy way to end the controversy.
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14): Again, if there is an alternative without X-rays, why on earth would you choose X-rays?
This is really the winning argument, safety-wise. You can talk all you want about the legality and morality of searching in general, but even if you believe we all need to be virtually strip-searched, why would you argue in favor of X-rays when millimeter wave exists?
I personally also was not a fan of the imaging itself, so I'm happy to see that gone too.
Quoting TSS (Reply 15): While I'm happy to see the Rapiscan BKSX machines leave the airports, I find it necessary to point out that the TSA has not indicated it will stop using BKSX technology for scanning passengers at airports.
In a year, we'll see another news story about how happy the TSA is with the L3 millimeter wave machines (they already say they're twice as fast as Rapiscan's machines), how American Science has pulled some shady shenanigans and therefore they're terminating AS's contract too.
The TSA seems entirely incapable of just admitting they were wrong and moving on, but I have a feeling they actually have already made the decision to move entirely to millimeter wave.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
LMAO . . . but that won't work now thanks the privacy filter. All it might do is gurantee you get flagged for a greet and grope. The TSA screener would no longer see those words printed on their screen.
Maverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5228 posts, RR: 6 Reply 24, posted (10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5882 times:
Quoting cmf (Reply 23):
Being natural doesn't make it safe.
I was referring to the argument that just because you get exposed to certain radiation in flight, somehow makes it okay that you get exposed to radiation from the BKSX machines. I know that's not what airportugal was suggesting, but I'd thought I'd throw it out there.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
25 EA CO AS: TSA To Scrap Rapiscan Backscatter X-ray Scanners Aw gee, you mean I won't have to do the 'Airport Macarena' anymore?
26 traindoc: FYI, a transcon flight gives the pax about the same radiation exposure as taking a chest xray. A CT scan of the chest is roughly equal to 100 chest xr
27 BE77: Many of us would like to go that route, but a little difficult at the current time. Cmf - I see Mav623 has replied - I'll just add that I believe tha
28 skywaymanaz: That is one big reason why I won't do the backscatter X-Ray ever at a TSA checkpoint. We strongly believe this was a factor in my father getting lung
29 LTC8K6: So what happens if you get to the point of the scan/pat down decision, when they tell you your options, and you decide you'd just rather not fly? Do
30 LTBEWR: I would suggest that part of the reason for this change may be the long-term, daily exposures to TSA and other security staff to not only these machin
31 skywaymanaz: LTC8K6 Ironicially I just posted something about this on the TSA blog. They used to refuse to allow you to leave under any circumstances once the scre
32 ABQopsHP: You are not waiving your 4th and 10th Amendment rights, by not flying. You are still free to move about. Again it is a privilege, not a right, to fly
33 TheRedBaron: I think all this security and fear machine 24/7 is a big load of BS. just think about it, how many passengers does a big airplane carries 400? 500?, l
34 speedygonzales: There's no evidence for harmful effects of radiation doses below 100mSv/year (safe limit is probably even higher). A single backscatter scan gives a d
35 ryanov: Terrorists can and will adapt. The question I always have is how much of our money we're willing to flush down the toilet on chasing the last problem
36 FlyingSicilian: what an intellectually weak argument-just like the dopey "anything for safety" crowd. How does one walk to Hawai'i or to even the islands that are pa
37 frmrcapcadet: The entire security procedures post 9/11 (and before for that matter) were poorly thought out, and not all that well executed. But lots of people made
38 skywaymanaz: Hrm looks like the post I sent TSA Blog and mentioned above got rejected since I see one after it posted now. Bob has a habit of rejecting my posts at
39 TSS: That sounds plausible to me. I doubt it's a coincidence that the removal of Rapiscan BKSX machines is announced shortly after TSA workers unionize.
40 1337Delta764: According to the article, the reason isn't because of safety, but because of Rapiscan's failure to comply to a congressional mandate that requires th
41 spacecadet: Radiation effects are cumulative over a lifetime, there's no "per year" exception. I have a lung problem and I am already at my lifetime safe limit f
42 BE77: 'According to the article' = 'According to the TSA' in this case, as it is the 'reporting' of a press conference / release, not reporting / journalis
43 Maverick623: You are comparing two completely different things. It is indeed a privilege to operate a motor vehicle. Last I checked, passengers weren't piloting t
44 1337Delta764: I would agree that backscatter X-ray scanners should not be used due to their potential health effects, and only the two models of millimeter wave sc
45 rwy04lga: Who's arguing? Some people in these forums take things WAY too seriously, you among them. Lighten up. If you don't like my humor, keep walking...or f
46 dcann40: Wonderful. New, unproven, x-ray technology. I am incredulous that the TSA would not just stick with mm wave scanning but then again...
47 DocLightning: You worded it better than I did. There is absolutely no reason to add to the dose, even if it's 1%, especially when there is a perfectly acceptable a
48 FlyingSicilian: If one is taking the opposite point in a discussion, that is by its definition an argument. That is around basic 7th grade L/D debate stuff, nothing
49 SCQ83: Being the US of lawsuits, I wouldn't be surprised that they scrapped this machine because of potential massive health-related law-suits in the future.
50 1337Delta764: If you read the article, my OP, and my most recent post, the TSA will be introducing a new backscatter X-ray body scanner by American Science & E
51 chrisair: There is nothing in your linked article that says the ASE Backscatter x-ray machine will be coming to airports anytime soon. It simply said the TSA h
52 BE77: Not trying to upstage you! Just trying to emphasize the 'no safe dose' concept backed with any credbility people might credit my science background +