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New Body Scanner At Denver Airport Lets You Keep Your Arms Down

The security screening area at Denver International Airport.
David Benbennick
Creative Commons 3.0
The security screening area at Denver International Airport.

The Mountain West region has the first airport in the country to pilot a new kind of security screening machine. The most obvious feature of Denver International’s new body scanner is that it allows travelers to keep their arms down at their sides while being scanned. 

It's appealing to travelers who might have an injury or disability, said Carrie Harmon with the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA. "There are some people who are uncomfortable for whatever reasons with holding their arms over their head." 

Traveler passing through DIA's new body scanner.
Credit Denver International Airport
Traveler passing through DIA's new body scanner.

Another advantage of this $300,000 machine, said Harmon, is that this new technology takes only one second to scan in contrast to about six seconds for the older machines. 

“That may not seem like much,” said Harmon, “but it adds up during a day when you’re screening thousands of passengers.”

Harmon said this new scanner also has some improved detection capabilities.

The Denver airport is the fifth busiest airport in the country. If this trial goes well, other airports around the country could adopt the technology. 

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2021 KRCC. To see more, visit KRCC.

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.
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