Originally Published: November 15, 2010 9:50 p.m.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has no plans so far to install controversial body scanners at the Prescott Regional Airport, a TSA official said Monday afternoon.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said the agency will roll out 500 of the devices nationwide by the end of the year, adding Prescott is not on the list. Great Lakes Airlines provides commuter flights to and from Prescott to Ontario, Calif., and Denver.
Airport security officials are defending the new anti-terrorism procedures at the nation's airports that some travelers are complaining are overly invasive and intimate.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated in an USA Today opinion piece that body scanners used at many airports are safe with the images viewed in private. She added pat-downs have been used for years at airports with measures taken to protect travelers' privacy.
John Pistole, who heads TSA, said Monday on the "Today" show on NBC that "everybody wants the best possible security," adding TSA is seeking a balance between security and privacy.
Some travelers fear the scanners might produce unhealthy radiation and complain that pat-downs, which can include touching the inside of passengers' thighs and feeling their buttocks, are too personal.