Security scanners

London Gatwick uses the latest advanced image technology

Scanners provide an additional layer of security. They are a completely safe and extremely capable method of screening passengers. 

How do security scanners work?

The scanning system uses millimetre wave imaging to locate objects on a person that are concealed under clothing. Millimetre wave imaging offers a superior approach for screening people compared to existing methods such as metal detectors.

It works by bouncing millimetre waves off an individual’s skin to produce an outline image of the person’s body, showing any concealed, potentially dangerous objects.

The image is not reviewed by an operator, as the system provides an Automatic Threat Recognition and Detection functionality. The scanner displays an indication of possible threat areas on a `gingerbread man’ image. The security officer uses this information to determine if a physical search is required.

Images taken are analysed digitally within the equipment, so the millimetre wave image of the passenger is never seen, stored, printed or transmitted. The scanner is deliberately programmed so that no image can be retained, printed or transmitted.

Can I opt out of going through the security scanners?

If you do not wish to be screened by a security scanner, you will need to have an enhanced hand search conducted in a private search room. This will involve the removal of outer clothing and the loosening and/or removal of other garments.

Please be aware that this alternative screening method will take significantly longer than going through a security scanner due to additional staff resources that need to be made available.

Download our leaflet about security scanners.