Airport Body Scanners
Body scanner screening commences at Australia's eight international gateway airports in December 2012. The eight international gateway airports are Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Airports.
Body scanners are being introduced as an additional layer of security that includes walk-through metal detectors, restrictions on the carriage of liquids, aerosols and gels, explosive trace detection and police presence, amongst other measures.
See our Fact Sheet for more details:
- Passenger Fact Sheet [PDF: 905 KB] 
The travelling public should not be concerned about the introduction of body scanners.
Do you use a mobile phone? How about wireless internet? Body scanners to be used in Australia will only use non-ionising millimetre-wave technology. Millimetre-waves are radiofrequency energy in the gigahertz bands, similar to that emitted by mobile phones. The lower intensity of the millimetre-waves and short duration of the scan means that the person being scanned is exposed to much less energy than is the case with other everyday devices.
One body scan emits 10,000 times less radio frequency energy than an average mobile phone call, which is significantly less than the maximum permissible exposure levels for the public set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).
The Government will not allow body scanners that use ionising radiation, such as X-ray technology, for aviation security screening purposes.
An example of the generic stick figure produced by the body scanner
To protect the privacy of the travelling public, it will be a requirement that body scanners deployed in Australia must be equipped with privacy enhancements. The current generation body scanner is equipped with automatic threat recognition technology. This removes the need for screening officers to view detailed or ‘naked’ images and instead highlights areas of concern on a generic ‘stick’ figure. In addition, the body scanner is not able to store personal information about passengers or the screen display generated from individual scans
The Government has consulted with a wide range of stakeholders on privacy issues, including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Further information on the consultation process can be accessed at privacy consultation.
Following this consultation a comprehensive Privacy Impact Assessment was undertaken and is available here [PDF: 1168 KB] 
Body Scanner Trial
A voluntary body scanner trial was undertaken at Sydney and Melbourne International Airports during August and September 2011. The purpose of this trial was to test operational policies and procedures in order to determine the impact the body scanners may have on the passenger screening process. The trial also provided an opportunity for privacy and other interest groups to view the body scanner in operation.
The report from the trial is available here [PDF: 741 KB] 
Frequently asked Questions
If you still have more questions about the introduction of body scanners, please see our frequently asked questions.
The Government understands that some members of the community may have concerns about how body scanners may impact on their individual circumstances. For more information please select the relevant link below.