Security – body scanners

How body scanners work

Four new body scanners have been installed at Jersey Airport, providing an additional layer of security. They are a completely safe method of screening passengers, including passengers with pacemakers and those who are pregnant.

The scanning system uses millimetre wave imaging to locate objects on a person that are concealed under clothing. Millimetre wave imaging offers a superior approach for screening people compared to existing methods such as metal detectors. It works by bouncing millimetre waves off an individual’s skin to produce an outline image of the person’s body, showing any concealed, potentially dangerous objects.

These scanners do not reveal the naked body or the insides of a body. Airport security staff see a generic human shape, much like a gingerbread cookie, without any identifying features. The generic human shape is the same for every traveller going through an airport scanner.

Images are analysed digitally within the equipment, so the millimetre wave image of the passenger is never seen, stored, printed or transmitted. The scanner is programmed so that no image can be retained, printed or transmitted.

Preparing for a body scanner

The machines can scan people who are 1-2 metres in height. Anyone outside these parameters will need to be searched by hand.

You may wear the following accessories

  • Glasses, hearing aids, cufflinks, rings
  • Ties, bracelets, watches
  • Light shoes that don’t go over the ankles

You must take off the following clothes and accessories

  • Outer clothing (coat, jacket, blazer, vest)
  • Bels
  • Hats and caps
  • Empty pockets of everything – including tissues, passports, phones, and boarding passes
  • Larger, chunky jewellery
  • Boots (any that go over the ankle)
  • Wet clothes if possible

Clothing which might trigger ‘false alarms’

  • Tops or trousers with embellishments (sequins, pearls, imprint etc)
  • Hooded tops
  • Voluminous hair (dreadlocks, braids etc)
  • Metallic objects on clothing
  • Rolled up sleeves

Passenger positioning

Passengers must have a specific posture to be reliably scanned.

  • Feet must be positioned on the yellow marks on the floor plate, or within the blue marks on the floor if you have physical or clothing restrictions.
  • Face forward to the blue avatar on the scanner
  • Extend arms slightly away from the body, pointing down with palms facing backwards

Can I opt out of going through the body scanners?

Anyone who does not wish to be screened by a security scanner will need to be searched by hand instead. This alternative screening method will take longer than going through a security scanner.