Body scanning machine removed at airport
The Helena Regional Airport will soon lose its full body scanner to replace a full body x-ray scanner where people appear nude at a larger airport.
Congress informed TSA that the x-ray scanners that make a person appear nude are inappropriate and must be removed. The government-run TSA organization is taking Helena's full body scanner and replacing it with a walk through metal detector. A frequent commuter who flies multiple times a month, Carly Cloer says she likes having the full body scanning machines at airports.
Cloer says, "I think it helps with safety I think just to do the full body scan lets them see everything."
She says she doesn't necessarily think they help speed security lines along at the airport, but she likes that they reduce the number of times TSA tell her she must go through a pat down which she says aren't that bad, just a little annoying.
Cloer says, "I didn’t ask to go into a private room or anything to get a pat down, I don’t know."
Director of the Helena Regional Airport, Ron Mercer, says he is unhappy with the change and that the machine does help lines move more quickly and will impact many different types of travelers.
Mercer says, "People with any kind of joint replacement any kinds of metals in their body young kids that don’t want to stand for 3 seconds.”
Mercer says when he contacted TSA about the removal of the machine, the organization did not respond.
Mercer says, "We've talked to our congressional representatives they wrote a letter signed by all 3, both Senators and Congressman Daines asking for information, they've ignored it"
And many travelers will see for themselves how the change affects their experience through security lines in the next few months. Mercer does not know when or if the airport will receive another scanner. Mercer says the scanner is scheduled to be removed tonight, but there have been several delays and it may not actually be removed for a few more days.
Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
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