Aviation: Security

Department of Health written question – answered on 13th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has advised that people with implanted pacemakers, implantable cardio veter-defibrilators or neurostimulators can use the scanners at airport security; whether the agency will publish the information that has allowed the policy of not using scanners for such people to change; and whether they have advised airports in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published advice on how patients with pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators or neurostimulators can safely use airport security scanners. Full details of the current version of this advice are available at the following address on the gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electromagnetic-interference-sources/electromagnetic-interference-sources

This advice states that we are not aware of any interference between body scanners and these devices, and gives some simple advice on how to avoid interference with screening wands and metal detectors.

This advice was published in 2010 following the introduction of body scanners to United Kingdom airports. A copy has been attached.

The advice was based upon a review of published literature.

Prior to 2010 the MHRA had not published airport security advice for these patients and therefore there has been no change to published policy.

Responsibility for advising airports in the United Kingdom rests with the Department for Transport (DfT). The MHRA advice has been reflected in the Code of Practice for Acceptable Use of Security Scanners in the Aviation Security Environment issued by DfT which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-on-the-implementation-of-security-scanners.

A copy of the Code of Practice is attached.

DfT requires airports to follow this Code of Practice as part of the Directions served on the deployment of security scanners.

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