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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to walk through body scanner at LAX

November 22, 2010 |  8:44 am

Hoping to head off a passenger insurrection during the busiest air travel week of the year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will pass through a body-scan machine at LAX on Monday in order to demonstrate its ease and safety, officials said.

Villaraigosa will undergo the screening at Terminal 6 around noon, said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman.

"He wants to show his support for TSA's efforts to secure the traveling public, visitors and employees here at LAX,'' Castles said. "He wants to reassure that these measures are here to protect the public."

Public outcry over the body-scan machines and enhanced pat-down procedures have officials nervous that a rebellion will culminate on Wednesday, typically the busiest flying day of the year.

For the 10-day period beginning last Friday and ending the Sunday after Thanksgiving, an estimated 1.53 million passengers will fly out of LAX, Castles said.

A loosely organized Internet group is urging consumers to "opt-out" of the body scan, which shows a naked image, in favor of the pat-down screening. Doing so would significantly slow security lines and could force some passengers to miss flights, airport officials said.

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-- Catherine Saillant

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