Go Back   > > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 30, 15, 6:53 am   #1
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: From ORK, live LCY
Programs: Pretty much all gone these days
Posts: 12,946
UK commences primary MMW scans

Effective January 2015, the United Kingdom has commenced use of MMW scanners for primary security screening. Currently only London Gatwick (LGW) South terminal is applying the process, at its main checkpoint. It is expected to spread further over upcoming months.

Previously, body scanners had been used to resolve WTMD alarms, on randomly-selected passengers, or to facilitate passengers who were unable or unwilling to go through a WTMD.

Opt-outs have been permitted in the UK since November 2013, a year after it had been ordered to do so by the EU, but ordinarily result in a mandatory hand search and wanding in a private room, and may also require the loosening or removal of clothing. In many cases, passengers who opt-out are subjected to interrogation about their reason for opting out, demands for their passport and boarding pass from which details are recorded, and requirements to sign a consent form to a private search. Additionally, such passengers are often subjected to a mandatory search of carry-on baggage, and this may be extended to anyone with whom they identify as travel companions.

This disappointing situation makes UK airport security checkpoints less palatable.
stifle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 7:19 am   #2
  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,546
I read just yesterday that Germany, too, will soon be using whole body scanners. Although I can't refind the site that I read, I found it after doing a search for "Rohde & Schwarz Quick Personnel Scanner 100 and 200" or similar parameters after reading another of OP's posts.

Scanners are being trialled in Oslo: http://www.futuretravelexperience.co...-enhancements/

Sadly, it seems as if WBS will soon be the norm.
petaluma1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 7:21 am   #3
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 782
I don't know UK law. Is the opt out a right? Is any response to such interrogation (assuming it's not by UK Border Force, but by security) required by any law? Are they authorized to mandate that someone undress, or that the screening be conducted in private? Please cite applicable UK/EU regs / law / case law if you can.

I don't see how one can be "required" to sign a "consent" form. And personally, I never allow myself to be searched in private if I can possibly help it; I want it on camera, with general public witnesses available.
saizai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 7:45 am   #4
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 31,530
Is not the answer that you may not be compelled to submit to any screening, questioning or consent at all, but that you may also not then be permitted past the security checkpoint?

This was how the debate was ultimately resolved in the States many many moons ago and way before 9/11, when checkpoints were administered by local security contractors hired by the air carriers and there was no TSA.
Often1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 7:46 am   #5
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: From ORK, live LCY
Programs: Pretty much all gone these days
Posts: 12,946
Opt outs are mandatory in the EU, and security clerks are mandatorily required to inform passengers of the possibility to opt out (EU Regulation 1147/2011, annex 1, section 4.1.1.10).

Screening of passengers who opt out in the UK must be conducted in private (Direction to certain aerodrome managers under the Aviation Security Act 1982 relating to security scanners 2015, annex C, section 14).

I have had sight of a letter from the Department for Transport stating that passengers are not required to answer questions about their reason for opting out nor provide personal information. This is not followed in practice and failing to comply results in a D-Y-W-T-F-T. This is from personal and others' reported experience.

The answer to your other questions is SSI and I am unaware of the answers. Even if I were, I would probably be committing an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to collect, hold, or share such information.
stifle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 7:56 am   #6
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 782
Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
Screening of passengers who opt out in the UK must be conducted in private (Direction to certain aerodrome managers under the Aviation Security Act 1982 relating to security scanners 2015, annex C, section 14).
"Must" be, not conditioned on the passenger's preference? I.e. even if they want it to not be conducted in private, they are forced to have it in private?

Quote:
I have had sight of a letter from the Department for Transport stating that passengers are not required to answer questions about their reason for opting out nor provide personal information.
Could you point to it? Sounds interesting.

Quote:
The answer to your other questions is SSI and I am unaware of the answers. Even if I were, I would probably be committing an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to collect, hold, or share such information.
That's sad. At least in the US, it's only an offense to disclose/hold/share/etc if you are in the class of people who willingly signed a governmental NDA.

(E.g. journalists are protected if they published classified documents, but their sources aren't. And SSI isn't "classified", it's a whole different category of pseudo-classification.)
saizai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 8:01 am   #7
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 782
Quote:
Direction to certain aerodrome managers under the Aviation Security Act 1982 relating to security scanners 2015, annex C, section 14

14. An individual who has been selected to be screened by security scanner may opt out of being scanned but only if the individual being screened agrees to be searched by an alternative screening method, including at least an enhanced hand search in private. That search may require the loosening or removal of clothing.
ETA: Also:
Quote:
Alternatives
An individual may opt out of being scanned. In this instance, the individual must either be screened by an alternative method which includes at least an enhanced hand search in private or that individual must not be permitted to enter the security restricted area, or, if applicable, he or she must be removed from it. An enhanced hand search in private must take place in a private room or an area away from the main search comb. This may involve the loosening or removal of clothing.



20. In the event that an individual declines to be scanned and refuses to undergo the alternative screening method of at least an enhanced hand search in private, the incident shall be escalated to the appropriate member of security staff who will escort that passenger landside and advise the passenger’s airline that they have been refused access to the security restricted area and that the passenger should be offloaded. In the instance of suspicious circumstances local processes for dealing with suspicious individuals should be followed.
saizai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 8:24 am   #8
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: From ORK, live LCY
Programs: Pretty much all gone these days
Posts: 12,946
Here's the letter: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...3/Untitled.pdf

And yes, passengers opting out have no option to be searched in public even if they want to.
stifle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 8:45 am   #9
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 782
Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post


Quote:
And yes, passengers opting out have no option to be searched in public even if they want to.


Has that ever been tested in court? If it's notionally to protect privacy, then it should be the passenger's right to waive because they value their security against assault and documentary evidence more highly.
saizai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 10:48 am   #10
  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,546
Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
Here's the letter: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...3/Untitled.pdf

And yes, passengers opting out have no option to be searched in public even if they want to.
If the DoT's reason for requiring the private room search is the same as the TSA's, and I don't doubt that it is, the private room is "required" because the DoT (and TSA) don't want the general public to see how invasive, degrading and humiliating the private room search is.
petaluma1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 1:13 pm   #11
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 12,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
If the DoT's reason for requiring the private room search is the same as the TSA's, and I don't doubt that it is, the private room is "required" because the DoT (and TSA) don't want the general public to see how invasive, degrading and humiliating the private room search is.
Invasive, degrading, and humiliating, isn't that TSA's Motto?
Boggie Dog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 1:43 pm   #12
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: From ORK, live LCY
Programs: Pretty much all gone these days
Posts: 12,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
If the DoT's reason for requiring the private room search is the same as the TSA's, and I don't doubt that it is, the private room is "required" because the DoT (and TSA) don't want the general public to see how invasive, degrading and humiliating the private room search is.
Having experienced the private room search last year, it is probably more to keep the area behind the WTMD clear. The search was no different to a normal patdown after a WTMD alarm, just conducted at half the speed and with a wanding afterwards. The security screening areas at UK airports tend to have more lanes and be more compact than in the US, and the quota beeps* on WTMDs combined with the no trying again rule** mean that there probably wouldn't be enough room.

*WTMDs in the UK are set to beep with a random probability whenever someone goes through even without any metal. This is usually a different beep tone and "QUOT" will flash up on the WTMD control panel when someone is selected this way. From observation the rate is usually set between 10 and 20%. A passenger selected this way has their shoes X-rayed and is sent to the NOS if available or patted down otherwise.

**It is customary in some countries that a passenger who beeps the WTMD is sent back through and given a chance to divest some metal and try again. This option isn't available in the UK.
stifle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 15, 4:08 pm   #13
  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,546
Is the MMW for all flights, international and domestic? IIRC scanning of passengers is reserved at some airports for flights to the US only.
petaluma1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 15, 12:02 am   #14
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: From ORK, live LCY
Programs: Pretty much all gone these days
Posts: 12,946
The UK does not distinguish between passengers' destinations when deciding what type of security check they will receive at the main checkpoint. Those travelling to the USA may be subject to additional checks such as pat-downs and shoe carnivals at the boarding gate.
stifle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 15, 12:44 am   #15
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 84,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
The UK does not distinguish between passengers' destinations when deciding what type of security check they will receive at the main checkpoint. Those travelling to the USA may be subject to additional checks such as pat-downs and shoe carnivals at the boarding gate.
Indeed. If there are any exceptions to that, they would be very, very rare.

During some given hour at some screening checkpoints, it may not take too many opt-out-of-strip-search-machine-screening passengers' screenings before things get backed up rather extensively for some passengers.
GUWonder is online now   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top