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Body Scanner Adds Safety, Efficiency to Lewiston Air Travel

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In August, it was announced that some big changes were coming to the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport; one of the biggest was just installed recently.

If you're flying out of Lewiston soon, you may be relieved to see the newest addition to airport security.

The airport now has advanced imaging technology, otherwise known as body scanners.

TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers says this is the final one to be installed in an Idaho airport.

Dankers says, "TSA has used body scanners for the last 5 or 6 years, and over the last 9 months we've rolled them out in a bunch of new airports."

The process starts out with passengers removing everything from their pockets. Because the software in the scanner can sense metallic and non-metallic objects on the body, that means everything.

Dankers says, "It's not a metal detector, so if you have any items in your pockets, it's important to remove those regardless of what they are. The other thing people need to remember is it's not an X-ray."

That means the A.I.T. isn't taking an invasive look at your body. Instead electromagnetic waves less than that of a cellphone scan the body within two to three seconds, and shows a TSA officer exactly where something may be concealed.

Dankers says, "Our officer will look where that alarm box is, do a little follow-up screening, and once they've cleared that, you'll be on your way."

The entire process is meant to be more efficient than standard pat-downs, not to mention more comfortable for passengers. But Dankers says it's the added safety element that travellers will really enjoy.

Dankers says, "The greatest threat to aviation is explosives. Those can be metallic or non-metallic. Something like this body scanner adds that extra layer of security."

You can opt out of going through the body scanner, but you'll be given the standard pat-down screening.

And if you have a metallic medical device in your body, such as hip or knee replacements, you can opt-in to using the body scanner instead of a metal detector.

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