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Forum staff reports, Published November 19 2010

Hector International Airport to get full-body scanner

Hector International Airport in Fargo is expected to receive a full-body scanner “in the not-too-distant future,” Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said.

The federal Transportation Security Administration hasn’t indicated when the scanner will arrive, Dobberstein said.

“I know we’re on the list along with everybody else that currently doesn’t have one,” he said. “It’s just, is it three months, six months? We don’t know when it’ll be here.”

The TSA hopes to deploy 500 advanced-imaging scanners by the end of this year and another 1,000 by the end of 2011, but it hasn’t announced a deployment schedule for airports that don’t have them, TSA regional spokeswoman Carrie Harmon told The Forum.

The TSA says the backscatter technology used in the X-ray scans exposes travelers to less radiation than from about two minutes of an airplane flight at altitude. It says the other technology used in advanced imaging, millimeter waves, uses “harmless” electromagnetic waves.