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Controversial full-body scanners coming to John Wayne Airport

October 19, 2011 |  7:36 am

Tsa-fullbodyimage

The Transportation Security Administration plans to install full-body scanners to screen passengers at John Wayne Airport in the coming months, federal officials confirmed Tuesday.

Scanners are planned for security checkpoints at all three terminals, including the new Terminal C set to open in November.

Travelers randomly selected to undergo the body scans can opt to walk through the traditional metal detectors and receive a manual pat-down instead, according to the Daily Pilot.

A recent public backlash about the machines' graphic depictions prompted the TSA to alter the images the scanners produce. The millimeter wave machines that are planned for JWA will create only generic images of passengers.

The TSA bought 300 new millimeter wave machines in September. JWA will be one of the earliest airports to get the devices.

Because the airport is building a new terminal and its existing checkpoints can be converted with relative ease, JWA was "a logical next step," said TSA spokesman Nico Melendez.

It is hard to determine when the scanners will be ready because of the unpredictable permitting and installation process, Melendez said.

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— Mike Reicher, Times Community News

Photo: A full-body scanner in operation. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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