Sea-Tac Airport to get full-body scanners

Sea-Tac Airport to get full-body scanners »Play Video
In this Dec, 28, 2009 file photo, an employee of Schiphol stands inside a body scanner during a demonstration at a press briefing at Schiphol airport, Netherlands.
SEA-TAC AIRPORT -- Security at this Western Washington airport is about to get a full-body upgrade.

The airport confirms it will get several fully-body security scanners within the year.

Federal officials hope the new devices will increase surveillance at the nation's 17th busiest airports safe.

The new measures were announced in the wake of President Barack Obama's call for systemic change. The president admitted Thursday there were significant failures in intelligence leading up to the Christmas Day incident on board a flight bound for Detroit.

"Here at home we will strengthen our defense, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans," the president said.

On Thursday, federal officials talked about the changes at airports in the U.S. and around the globe. Some 300 full-body scanners will be installed at the nation's busiest airports. Sea-Tac will get five scanners, possibly more.

"They've got a whole variety, with their latest funding, that is going to send them around the country. So it'll depend on where we are on the priority list and how they spread those out," said Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper.

News of the full-body scanners reignited privacy concerns. Opponents argue the screening is akin to a virtual strip search that could easily be abused

Still, some air travelers are willing to trade a little privacy for increased security.

"I got the same parts as any other guy, so what difference does it make?" said Art Burdick of Anacortes. "If it'll show a bomb or something, I would rather it show that."

"Everyone's going to have different opinions, but you have to do things for the greater good of everyone," said Norm Bradley of British Columbia.

There are currently 40 full-body scanners installed at 19 airports across the country. An airport spokesman says the scanners should be in place by the end of 2010.