Metal Detectors & Treasure Hunting


The airport metal detector is weapon against hijacking.

The article gives you the details of airport metal detectors, answers some of your FAQs and also gives funny side of airport metal detectors

The Oblong Gate – Airport Metal Detector

Anyone who has traveled by air cannot miss the oblong gate through which every one has to pass. The oblong gate is the metal detector. Every one has to pass this rigmarole in spite of his/her wish.  After 9/11, the security checks became very stringent. 9/11 made everyone realize that this gate is not just rigmarole to be completed but it is in everyone’s safety that you pass through it.

Technology of Airport Metal Detector

When you walk through any airport metal detector, lets you off in a quick walk through. How does it work? Some of metal detectors at the airport are programmed to search 6 zones in the body from 3 sides each and thus the scan is complete quickly. This reduces the time required for scanning of a person and reduces the congestion at the security gates. So before you know it you are scanned completely and let off if you do not have any weapons.

How the Weapons Still Go Through Airport Metal detector

The Richard Reid episode where the shoes were used as a place for concealing the weapon used in a hijacking a plane, focused the attention back to issues of failure of airport scanners in detecting weapons. The airport metal detector failed to recognize the weapon in shoes sensitivity of metal detector gets reduced because of the presence metal in the floor of the metal detectors.

This fact was recognized and then manufacturers changed their equipment to account for this. The fact that you are not required to remove your shoes contributed to change in design of airport metal detector. Now you are scanned 6 zones and 3 directions in each zone. The sensitivity is different in each area is different

Still, if the bomb is made up of different parts and carried separately on the body, it can escape the attention of security staff if they are not attentive. All the same, do not try this method; otherwise you may have to face consequences.

Some FAQs on Airport metal Detectors

Q. Does an implant in body set off a metal detector?

A. As metal detectors at airport are sensitive to metals even inside your body, the implants can set off an alarm. There is nothing you can do for this. Explain to the security staff about the metal implant and you will be let off. To avoid embarrassments at airport metal detectors, you might carry a certificate along with you.

Q. What about jewelry?

A. Jewelry can also set off alarm. You may be asked to step aside for further check. Show the jewelry to the staff and you will let off.

Q. Dose the pace maker in my body need a special care?

A. Yes the pace maker in your body requires special care. Since the pace maker is sensitive to magnetic signals, alert the staff at airport metal detector that you are having a pace maker. They will take care to see that the area around your pacemaker is not subjected to strong magnetic fields.

Now some unusual experiences at airport metal detectors

  • In one case a woman came to know that she was carrying a 12 inch surgical retractor at an airport metal detector.
  • Janet Jackson was asked to step aside as her chastity belt triggered a security alarm. In case you have forgotten, she is the same lady who bared her breast during a live consort because of malfunctioning dress (or otherwise!).

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