Helena airport refuses to give up body scanner [HLN]

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    What's wrong with these bozos?

    Independent Record: Airport digs in on scanner: Device not removed as planned (Feb 22 2013)

    A full-body security scanner slated for removal Thursday from Helena Regional Airport was still in place Friday, and the airport authority has told the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that the device, installed last April, isn’t going anywhere without a fight. “They showed up last night and we didn’t let them take the machine,” airport manager Ron Mercer said Friday, referring to TSA contractors who had a semi-truck and forklift outside the airport ready to go.

    The TSA had informally told the airport it would remove the device Thursday as part of its plan to relocate many of the devices nationwide to comply with a federal law mandating the removal from the nation’s largest airports of scanners critics said violated passengers’ privacy with excessively detailed images of their bodies as they passed through security checkpoints. The standoff with the contractors in Helena ended with an agreement to have a conference call Thursday evening with TSA officials in Washington, D.C. Mercer said the call lasted more than 30 minutes, but did not resolve what he called an “ongoing process.”

    In a letter sent to the TSA on Thursday, Mercer asked for “reasonable advance notice” of the removal, details on how the agency would mitigate the effects of the removal — namely increased lines and wait times for passengers boarding planes in Helena.


    What increased lines and wait times? Repeating a lie hundreds of times doesn't make it true.

    Here's the well-known, well-publicized truth for those who can look past all the propaganda that TSA puts out:
    • Scanners require more time-per-passenger than WTMD (walk-through metal detectors)
    • In trial tests at Hamburg (Germany) airport, MMW (millimeter wave) scanners results in 54% rate of false positives, i.e. 54% of the passengers passing through the scanner had to be groped/fondled for something that wasn't really there.
    • In a trial test at a northern Ireland prison, the MMW scanner missed 43% of test objects.
    • The authorities responsible for Israeli airport security reject the use of body scanners at the outset because they were known to have blind spots that would allow weapons and explosives smuggled. These blind spots were demonstrated publicly by Jonathon Corbett for both MMW and X-Ray scanners in the viral YouTube video How To Get Anything Through TSA Nude Body Scanners.

    Independent Record: Helena airport refuses to give up body scanner (Feb 23 2013)

    Billings Gazette: Helena airport digs in to keep full-body scanner (Feb 23 2013)
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I suspect the issue is more about potential liability than security.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Looks like part of the issue is that they just spent $125K to accommodate the scanner that TSA wants to remove. Things like that happen when you choose to dance with the devel ... :D

    Now they're claiming the scanner is a "fixture" and belongs to them -- careful what you wish for!
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    TSA is still responsible for screening -- no liability would be incurred ont he part of the airport for screening.
  5. RB

    RB Founding Member

    The airport is covering their six. Should something happen the feds will hold all the blame. Secondary reason trying to recoup the $150,000 the airport spent to get WBI installed.
  6. My big question is, what was wrong with these bozos when they spent six figures to accommodate a scanner foisted on them by a federal agency? Did TSA threaten to shut down the airport or something? Didn't they know that there were airports like TUS that weren't going to remodel their whole space to fit scanners, airports where there still aren't scanners to this day, airports which still do not have airplanes falling out of the sky?
  7. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    This story is hilarious!

    I mean seriously, TSA can't be bothered to tell the airport that they're coming to pick something up that they demanded be put in in the first place and made the municipality spend 6 big to make accommodations for it and future expansion of more whizbang strip search toys?

    And this Ron Mercer's crocodile tears over it are pretty sad. You know, buddy, I know how you feel. I mean, I'm told repeatedly what an important "partner" I am to aviation security, too. And then one of Pistole's Perverts goes and shoves his paw in my crotch.
  8. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand from the Billings Gazette article linked in Mike's OP, there's this gem of a comment:

    I mean, if people love this stuff so much, why the reaction?

    Oh, right, because we DON'T!

    Hey, TSA: FOAD.
  9. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

  10. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    They are threatening to do enhanced pat downs after everyone goes through the WTMD, ergo increased lines and wait times.

    It has been reported that ABE, which doesn't have WBI, has been seen doing enhanced pat downs on men after they go through WTMD without alarming.
  11. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    From the ABE website:

    I guess they mean foreplay and sex at the WTMD site. family friendly ie start a family.
  12. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I love this quote from the Helena airport director - from an earlier article:

    and this from the director of Great Falls airport:

    Really shows what a CF the TSA is.
  13. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    TSA has a lot of work to do to come UP to the level of Clusterf*ck.
  14. RB

    RB Founding Member

    A bridge to far.

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