Logan will get 3 full-body scanners

Associated Press / February 24, 2010

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WASHINGTON - The first of 150 full-body scanners planned for US airports will be installed in Boston next week, officials said yesterday.

The plan is to install three machines at Logan International Airport, according to a Homeland Security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made. In the next two weeks, officials plan to install another machine at O’Hare International in Chicago.

The rest of the 150 machines that were purchased with $25 million from the 2009 stimulus plan are expected to be installed by the end of June, a Homeland Security spokeswoman said.

The use of the scanners in airports is key to the Obama administration’s plan to improve airport security because of their ability to show objects hidden on the body. Body scanners have been available for years, but their deployment has been slowed by objections from privacy advocates.

After a Nigerian man allegedly attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas, President Obama called for purchasing hundreds more of the machines on top of 150 already announced last year.

Boston and Chicago were selected based on risk, the official said, and whether the airports were able to install the machines and provide operators.