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Body scanners

About the scanner

At Edinburgh Airport we are committed to ensuring the safety of all our passengers and body scanners have been in operation here since 2010. 

Are body scanners safe?

Yes, rigorous testing has certified that body scanners are safe.  The millimetre wave scanners which are in use at Edinburgh Airport operate on very low level of electromagnetic technology which is much lower than that emitted by a mobile phone.

All security scanners must use millimetre wave technology, which poses no known health and safety risks. Tests have concluded that the dose received from a scanner, like those at Edinburgh Airport, is far below the allowed levels in the UK and does not cause any health risks.

Body scanners are in place to carry out automatic detection of concealed threats and contraband.  The scanners at Edinburgh Airport operate multi-material detection which can reveal any concealed objects such as metals, ceramics, plastics, liquids, narcotics.  The detection results are instant.


An alternative screening method is now in place which will include at least a private search (an enhanced hand-search in private which may involve the loosening and/or removal of clothing).

The Department for Transport (DfT) considers this a suitable alternative to a security scanner.

What about privacy?

Instead of creating an image, the scanner identifies areas where items may be concealed on the body; these areas are flagged on a standard stick-figure on a screen.

Both passengers and staff are able to see the image generated by the body scanner. The image is not stored, printed or transmitted and will be deleted as soon as it has been assessed by a security staff member.

What if I am pregnant or undergoing medical treatment?

Scans are quick and safe – even if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker or a cochlear implant (although if you do use a cochlear implant you may find it more comfortable to turn the sound processor off when you’re close to the machine).

If you have any questions or concerns about going through one of our body scanners please notify a security staff member and they would be happy to explain the process in more detail.

For more information on government legislation on the use of body scanners, please go the DFT website