Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Amsterdam – Schiphol airport in Amsterdam has acquired 60 new full-body scanners as part of efforts to boost security at the airport. Twenty of the new-generation scanners are expected to be available in the near future for use in processing passengers on flights bound for the United States. They are to be used alongside 16 older full- body scanners, which have already in use for several months.
The decision to use the devices was prompted by an incident on December 25, in which a Nigerian man on board a flight from Schiphol to the US city of Detroit tried to detonate explosives shortly before landing.
The 60 scanners cost “several million euros,” Schiphol Airport director Jos Nijhus said. He said he hoped the government would bear the cost given that it was a matter “of the security of the entire community.”
Schiphol currently spends in the region of 240 million euros (344 million dollars) a year on security.
Nijhus meanwhile dismissed a report by a London-based tabloid that Schiphol has been designated a “terrorist airport.” The newspaper said its reporters had made it through airport security checks with a syringe filled with fluid and onto a plane bound for London.
Such reports “are not a witness to technical know-how,” Nijhus said.