Following a test on more than 23,000 passengers last year in Sydney and Melbourne, from next week international passengers at PER will be randomly selected for a full body scan and will be prevented from boarding if they refuse.
As part of a $28 million security upgrade Perth Airport is introducing one scanner near to the current walk-trough metal detector, with another two to be installed during redevelopment works that will see the security area expanded.
The Federal Government claim the machines - the L-3 ProVision millimetre-wave body scanner - are the most advanced and say that images can not be stored, they cannot be transmitted and are deleted as soon as staff clear the passenger. (Which begs the question, if they can't be stored why do they need to be deleted?)
According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the L-3 millimetre-wave body scanners are perfectly safe, exposing passengers to exceptionally low levels of electromagnetic energy. They claim that the exposure is less than one-thousandth of that of a telephone call.
If this removes the need for taking off shoes, wrist-watches, belts and emptying ones pockets of those forgotten coins and keys, it can only improve passenger flows. Then again, we still have the bottle-necks at the baggage checks.