Full Body Scanners at Airports

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full Body Scanners at airports

I have often heard about Full Body Scanners that are used at many International Airports but I have never experienced one – until we arrived in Russia.

Full Body scanners have been in operation since 2011 at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow and is part of the daily routine. Russians never complain or frown to go through the process of a full body scan because their safety is more important.

Body scan; full body scanners; full body scanners at airports; full body scanner at Domodedovo; Body scan; Full body scan
A full body scanner similar to this one at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. Courtesy: http://tampabay.com

Implementation of full body scanners at domodedovo airport

In 2011 a suicide bomber killed more than 37 people when he blew himself up at the luggage claim hall of the airport. The 20-year old suicide bomber was  trained by Islamist terrorists affiliated with the Caucasus Emirate organization from the North Caucasus region. The terrorist group have claimed responsibility for the attack. Among the people who died was a famous playwright who came to Moscow for an award.

Domodedovo Airport is one of the busiest and most modern airports in Russia.

How does a full body scan work?

The procedure is very simple. However, I annoyed a security guard because I didn`t know how it was working and I couldn`t understand a word he was saying in Russian. The airport is so busy and there is not time to explain everything in detail.

1. Take all items out of your pockets and take your shoes off.

2. There is a plexi-glass cabin. When you get the instruction from the guard step into the cabin and place your feet apart on the marked areas.

3. Raise your arms above your head and hold the position for a couple of seconds. A buzzer will go off and the security guard will scrutinize the 3D image that appears on his screen.

Body Scanners and controversy

Many people feel that their privacy are invaded because the security person can see what they call “Naked Images”. Some countries like Australia use scanners that do not generate the raw images. I have no idea if the scanners at Domodedovo Airport produced “naked” images but frankly I don`t care. I feel that my safety is more important than insecurities about my body.

full body scans and Health concerns

Millimetre-waves are reflected off the surface of the skin and do not penetrate the body. There are strict regulations for the use of full body scanners at airports and they pose little risk to pregnant women or children.

It was an interesting experience and I was a little nervous, mainly because I didn`t know how it worked. Next time I will be more prepared when I encounter a full body scanner at an airport.


I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

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