JIS News

Jamaica has no immediate plans to implement the use of the millimeter wave machine, used for electronic body scanning, at the nation’s airports.
Director of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Darby, told JIS News that while the machine is very useful, “we don’t know as yet the extent to which it can be operated in our climatic conditions and it is not something that is being imposed on us. It is a machine that would probably alleviate the manual screening, which is done at the gate because it can see everything clearly.”
He added that currently, the use of the body scanner “is considered an invasion of privacy in many jurisdictions and so there are special conditions under which such machines are used”.
“The face of the passenger is masked out and the machine is actually read by a computer and if any images are seen then it is brought to the attention of the authorities so that some human intervention can be made,” the Director explained.
He added that it would have to be a policy decision of the Government of Jamaica, if the country were to allow full body scans at the two international airports.
“Then it would require careful study as to whether or not the machine can be operated sustainably in Jamaica. It’s not just the acquisition, but also the continued operation and maintenance of the machine, which would be required,” Lieutenant Colonel Darby said.
Meanwhile, he told JIS News that security measures at Jamaica’s airports have been intensified, in keeping with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“These include additional security measures at the boarding gate where all passengers will go through a physical search of their carry out bags as well as a pat down search immediately prior to boarding the aircraft,” he said.
A number of countries including the United Kingdom and the United States of America, have increased airport security following a failed attempt on Christmas Day to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight in the United States.

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