No body scanners in Dubai airports

Al Maktoum International Airport


Arab tradition considers body scanners a violation of human rights and sanctity, says Ahmad Mohammad bin Thani

Al Maktoum International AirportDubai airports do not use body scanners, according to Brigadier Pilot Ahmad Mohammad bin Thani, Director-General of Dubai Police’s General Department of Airport Security.

Speaking to ‘Al Bayan’ newspaper, he said: “There are many other alternatives that can be used instead of body scanners.” Especially because according to Arab tradition body scanners are a violation of human rights and sanctity.

Bin Thani said any new equipment must be fist tried on an experimental basis before rolling out in full service. For instance, the US plans to use device scanners for passengers by 2012. There are three types of scanners, he added. The first one based on X-Rays where it shows the entire body. The second one relies on feedback frequencies that detects the outer body of human beings. And the third type depends on the milimeteric frequancies, which examine external body and is less dangerous than the former two and focuses mainly on arms and explosives, Bin Thani said.

The Dubai Government has refused to apply any such device, Bin Thani confirmed, “because it is considered a violation of the privacy of travellers, whose bodies will be revealed to the inspectors”.

In fact, the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) does not ask airports to use such devices, he said.

He pointed out that “the devices used at Dubai airports, Al Maktoum, and Jebel Ali are entirely sufficient to secure the airports.”

“The security of passengers is of utmost importance and Dubai Airports have taken adequate measures to ensure passengers and travellers safety,” he said. Measures such as electronic gates, metal detectors, manual inspection, mobile handset inspections, apart from other  equipment to detect explosives, weapons and gaseous substances are all in service at our airports, he said.

Meanwhile, Dubai Airports are ready to receive 60 million passengers by 012, he added. The facilities are fully equiped by high cadres of human resources and the latest security and safety standards. The airports are well equipped to secure cargo, and detect parcel bombs even.

He stressed that the number of passengers who travelled through airports in Dubai over the past year was 47 million, and about 50 million passengers are exepcted by this year-end.

Dubai Airports are expanding. At present there are 3,000 employees with an average of 1,000 passengers a day, Bin Thani said.

Similarly, Dubai AIrports co-ordinate with various security agencies  including the General Department of Criminal Investigation to maintian safety. Female security staff are also appointed. About 148 wanted people were arrested during the first quarter of this year, he said.

Warak Warak programme heps monitor employees at the airport, This led to nabbing 11 staff involved in theft or fraud during the first three  months of thsi year.

He said another security programme for cargo helped detect 92 shipment which were not in conformity with the specifications during the same period.

“Dubai Airports handles half of the volume of shipping operations in the country – two million tonnes last year.”  And all parcels undergo thorough security and safety checks.

Meanwhile, cases registered with the Dubai International Airport witnessed a decline last year.

There are about 3,500 cameras in Dubai Airport and plan to install another 2,000 cameras in Airport III. There are 900 cameras at the Al Maktoum International Airport, with 180 in the cargo area. Police dogs are also pressed into service in suspicious cases.nline/online.js?js=v.1.0.6′ type=’text/javascript’>