* Body scanners to be used for flights to United States
* First 20 scanners to be bought shortly, others later
AMSTERDAM, Jan 4 Amsterdam airport operator
Schiphol Group said on Monday it would buy 60 body scanners and
denied allegations of lax security after a Nigerian was charged
with trying to blow up a plane that took off from Schiphol.
Schiphol's [SCHP.UL] reputation was dented after Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, boarded a flight to
Detroit on Christmas Day and was accused of trying to blow it
up, and a reporter smuggled a syringe onto another aircraft last
The airport has begun using 15 body scanners, which use
radio waves to see through a person's clothing and spot hidden
weapons or packages, and will buy 60 more in the coming months,
Schiphol's Chief Executive Jos Nijhuis said in a statement.
"The security scan, which we have tested extensively at
Schiphol during the last three years, will now be deployed at
all flights to the United States by order of the
counter-terrorism agency (NCTb)," Nijhuis said.
The first 20 new scanners will be delivered at "short
notice" and the total cost will be "several dozens of millions
of euros", Nijhuis said at Schiphol's 2010 reception.
A reporter from Britain's Sunday Express last week smuggled
a syringe like that used by Abdulmutallab onto a
Schiphol-Heathrow flight and the paper dubbed Schiphol a 'terror
"That we are portrayed as a 'terror airport' in some British
papers is completely out of place and does not testify to any
knowledge," Nijhuis said in the statement.
Concern over cost and privacy have hindered the use of the
scanners until now, critics saying they are too intrusive.
After Dutch authorities announced last week they would use
the body scanners, Nigeria, Italy, and British airport operator
BAA also announced plans to use them. [ID:nLDE60208K]
(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger, editing by Tim Pearce)