The New York Times reported that TSA intends on replacing metal detectors will full body imagers. Despite the privacy issues, I have to agree that it’s about time. We’re still using 1970’s technology to defeat a 21st Century Threat. Oddly enough, in the 1980s and 1990s, when plastic explosives became the explosive of choice and weapons were being smuggled on board by employees rather than through checkpoints, we still continued to use x-ray machines which could not see plastic explosives, and metal detectors that could detect guns and knives but could not detect explosives. The body imager, combined with the advanced x-ray machines being deployed narrow this gap.
Unfortunately, these machines cost about 10x more than a metal detector, it’s what’s needed to identify and deter the threat and should have been part of the aviation security reformations in late 2001.