“No Scan / No Fly” Rule Illegal Says EC
The “No Scan/No Fly” Rule is ILLEGAL
Scrap the Scanners can now exclusively reveal that the ever dithering European Commission has finally concluded that the UK government is guilty of breaking the law with its No Scan/No Fly rule at 12 UK airports.
In an email to this group, the Commission has stated that the UK is currently breaking a 2011 European law that insists on airline passengers having the right to opt for an alternative screening method other than passing through the controversial full-body scanners.
The government was informed by the Commission on the 8th of July of the illegality of its overzealous security practice and has been given until the 31st of December to comply with the European legislation. What happens next is in the UK’s court.
The polemical airport security rule that forbids those passengers who refuse to pass through a full-body scanner from boarding their flight has been in place since early 2010, while most other countries that mandate body scanner use have allowed their airports to offer a pat-down alternative. Currently, Australia is the only other country that employs a system of compulsory body scanning.
The EU legislation, which came into effect in late 2011, also prohibitted the use of the backscatter xray scanners. While the UK government did eventually rid their airports of this type of technology, it is unclear to why they have not yet come into line with the mandated right to offer an alternative screening method.
Manchester airport had originally been encouraged by the government to extend its investment in backscatter scanners, a technology with a reported lifespan of 5 years, but were forced to scrap their 19 scanners after little more than one year of use. The EC decision could further embarrass the UK Department for Transport as it has recently mandated the use of Millimetre Wave scanners at an extra 9 UK airports and, given the option, it is doubtful that most passengers would opt for the scanners over a conventional pat-down.
If the UK decides to obey the European rules on scanner use, we may begin to see the end of full-body scanners altogether at UK airports. When Manchester was forced to scrap their 19 backscatter scanners, they replaced them with only 3 of the millimetre wave type scanners, which suggests that the airport may be returning to more conventional and less intrusive screening methods.