SAN ANTONIO --
The "Body Scan Era" of air travel has arrived in San Antonio.
Passengers flying out of the city starting Tuesday will be among the first to walk through an Advanced Imaging Technology security system.
The process is set up to where a passenger walks through and an image appears on a computer screen in another room, where an officer will screen the image for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including explosives.
TSA officials told KSAT the process screens passengers safely without a physical "pat down."
"The fact that they are not going to pat you down anymore, I guess you feel more safe," said Jennifer Sebastian, a passenger. "I know people who have anxiety of people touching them. It will be a lot better with that machine."
TSA officials said Monday the process takes about four seconds for each passenger.
"Anything to speed the process along," said Raymundo Jacldo, a passenger. "People have to realize the technology that allows cell phones and other conveniences that we have is the same technology that's used by the airports."
Some opposed to the new technology said they are concerned about the full body images.
However, TSA officials said there are strict privacy protections in place. For example, there is no storage capability and the images the officers are looking at cannot be retrieved.
"We have very strict protocol," said Leopoldo Vazquez, federal security director of the TSA. "You may not be able to take any kind of cell phones, camera or any other device (in the room.) If you wanted to take a picture of the image and send it somewhere, you can't do that."
Still, the technology is optional and if a passenger opts out, then they will be subjected to a "pat down" instead.
TSA will start using the new security system on Tuesday at 3:45 a.m. in Terminal B at the San Antonio International Airport.
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