The American Allied Pilots Association has announced a boycott on new airport security devices that capture images of passengers' naked bodies. The association, which represents 12,000 pilots in the US, has an Australian counterpart that has expressed similar views on the controversial technology.
Captain Richard Woodward, the Vice President of the Australian International Pilots Association (AIPA), said: "The principal issue is not only privacy. It's total radiation exposure."
"The allowable limit for radiation workers is 20 mSv per annum. And the average pilot, depending on where they're flying, gets between 3 and 6." Captain Woodward cited a flight to London or South America as an example. "It's equivalent to a chest x-ray every time you fly."
The Allied Pilots Association has advised pilots to boycott the security devices. One captain said that there was insufficient evidence about the potential health risks of the devices, which has raised serious concerns among pilots about radiation exposure.
Australia is planning to introduce the full-body scanners at its international airports early next year. This forms part of the Federal Government's $200 million plan to fortify aviation security. A spokeswoman for the Transport Minister said that the technology to be introduced will be more advanced than those being used in the US.
Although AIPA has no plans to boycott, it will continue to work with the Government to address safety issues.