Body scanners arrive at OKC airport

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Full body scanners have become more common at airports across the county. At first they were very controversial, causing questions to arise about just how much detail they would show of a person’s body.

The scanners are in more than 150 airports across the county and now they are a working part of Will Rogers World Airport.

Kevin Donovan with the Transportation Security Administration says, “It really adds a layer of security we didn’t have before.”

Travelers will walk into the scanner and put their arms over their heads.

The machine quickly spins around them and then displays a generic image on the TSA worker’s screen.

Donovan says, “When the yellow box appears, we’re going to pat down that area and that area only.”

If a yellow box appears it means an “anomaly” was detected.

An anomaly can be anything from a cell phone to pocket change or even your boarding pass.

Donovan says, “It’s detecting not only metal but non-metallic objects as well. It does that in a private and secure way.”

The screeners see the same generic picture for every person despite their size or gender.

If nothing is detected, a green screen with the word “OK” appears, meaning no extra search is necessary.

TSA officials say these machines will make things easier for everyone but especially those with a prosthetic or a disability.

Donovan says, “It’s going to isolate the area to a knee or elbow and we can pat down just that. So we won’t have to subject our people with disabilities to an extensive, thorough pat down.”

Oklahoma City has three of the machines.

Travelers will have a choice of going through the full body scanner or a metal detector.