TSA to remove body scanners from all US airports

21 January 2013 (Last Updated January 21st, 2013 18:30)

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to remove controversial body scanners deployed at all airports in the country following public outcry.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to remove controversial body scanners deployed at all airports in the country following public outcry.

The agency has terminated its contract with scanner manufacturer, Rapiscan Systems, a unit of OSI System.

According to the TSA, Rapiscan Systems failed to meet the mandated deadline to upgrade the technology with software, compromising the privacy of passengers.

TSA said in a statement: "Due to its inability to deploy non-imaging automated target recognition (ATR) software by the congressionally mandated June 2013 deadline, TSA has terminated its contract with Rapiscan."

The scanners were also deemed controversial over the use of X-rays to scan passengers, raising concerns about radiation.

"Rapiscan Systems failed to meet the mandated deadline to upgrade the technology with software, compromising the privacy of passengers."

Some of the Rapiscan Secure 1000SP scanners will be replaced with metal detectors, while some with L-3 Communications' ATR-upgraded advanced imaging (AIT) millimetre wave technology, which generates the outline of passengers and highlights only suspicious objects.

Rapiscan parent OSI Systems said in a statement that Rapiscan and TSA determined that the Secure 1000SP would not be ready to meet the next level of ATR software by the congressionally mandated June 2013 deadline.

"As the Secure 1000SP has been operated by TSA as an effective imaging system, TSA plans to deploy these systems, with Rapiscan's assistance, to US Government agencies that already rely on the Secure 1000 product line or can enhance their security programmes with the Secure 1000SP," the company said.

"The agreement enables the US government to continue to benefit from the investments made by TSA, while allowing TSA to meet the congressional ATR mandate."