MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile Regional Airport now has a new a piece of equipment to increase security.
The new $150,000 full-body scanner will change the way security is conducted at the airport.
Nationwide, airports are characterized by order and routine amid the bustle and chaos of various arrivals and departures.
But one of the most important airport tasks could be considered mundane and redundant- the security checkpoints.
Still, it's one of the last defenses to protect passengers from those who would harm them, and Mobile Regional has a new weapon in its arsenal — the full-body scanner.
Mobile Regional Airport is now the third airport in Alabama to have the device who's total cost of $150,000 was funded by the Transportation Security Administration.
TSA Spokesman Jon Allen said, "We do know that the machine is able to detect things that would not have been detected by a metal detector."
The advanced imaging technology scans passengers for any metal or non-metal item that could be used as a weapon.
One of the distinguishing factors of this body scanner is a screen right alongside the machine. It's in full view of the passengers, and it shows a generic image of the body and where anomalies are located.
Flyer Angela Johnson says, "I think its great. If it keeps the country safe; it's not like they can really see anything."
TSA says the machine is safe for children and pregnant women. The radio waves emitted in the machine are 1/10-thousandth the energy emitted by a cell phone.
Not everyone is impressed.
Flyer Jonathan Forsythe says, "When I flew through Israel, we didn't have these high-tech scanners, they did more personality profiling and looking for nervousness, looking for issues that might indicate that someone had bad intentions. It's unnecessary, it's kind of a one-size fits all kind of program for security."
Forsythe emphasizes that Israel is constantly threatened with terrorist attacks and the keen eyes of their airport security officers keep the people safe.
"I feel we're a little hyper-sensitive to that, just as a culture. So I think even though [body scanners are] not the best method, that's why we do it," says Forsythe.
Those uninterested in the scanners can choose a manual pat down-instead.
TSA says there are around 650 full-body scanners at about 170 airports nationwide.
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