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Scans unclear

Eight Canadian cities can expect to see as many as 44 body scanners installed at its airports, but so far Thunder Bay officials haven’t received word that this area’s airport will be one of them.
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An Air Canada Jazz flight takes off from the Thunder Bay International Airport in this tbnewswatch.com file photograph. (tbnewswatch.com file photo)

Eight Canadian cities can expect to see as many as 44 body scanners installed at its airports, but so far Thunder Bay officials haven’t received word that this area’s airport will be one of them.

Transportation Minister John Baird announced Tuesday that some X-ray scanners would be operational at major airports by March, with another 36 installed after that. So far, Thunder Bay International Airport president Scott McFadden says he hasn’t heard anything that would indicate that Thunder Bay would be installing a scanner at its airport.

"We have no information with regards to scanners in Thunder Bay," from Transporation Canada, said McFadden."

While there was no communication between local airport officials and Transportation Canada prior to Tuesday’s announcement, it doesn’t mean the Thunder Bay airport is not one of the 36 expected to have the X-ray scanners. And if Thunder Bay’s airport is among Canadian airports installing the machines, than there will be a lot of work to be done at the local facility.

"We have very limited space," McFadden said. "Unless they are going to remove one of he current pieces of scanning equipment, we would have to do some fairly significant building renovations to accommodate one of those machines."

McFadden is concerned about several areas of air travel that are likely to be impacted by such a move. Along with possibly slowing down short haul flights to the U.S., McFadden believes subjecting all travellers to increased security checks may not be the way to go.

Passengers may also raise objections based on privacy issues associated with the new body scanners, he added.

Airport passengers who spoke to Dougall Media reporters Tuesday had a variety of reactions to the implementation of body scanners at major Canadian airports.