Enhanced passenger screening is coming soon to Charleston International Airport, but don't worry, the exact contours of your body will remain private.
Unlike their controversial predecessors, the new Advanced Imaging Technology units will identify possible threats on the image of a generic silhouette, not the particular forms of individual travelers.
"This is not the same machine that there were a lot of people concerned about privacy issues," said Debbie Engel, Transportation Security Administration federal security director for the Charleston and Myrtle Beach airports. "It does not require an X-ray operator in a different location."
The TSA will install two of the machines in the Charleston International's Concourse B over the course of a few nights next week. It plans to hold an event Feb. 7 to demonstrate how they work.
Concourse A, which has not yet been renovated and is narrower, will not get the new scanners "because we don't have room," Engel said Friday.
Keith Scott, an Atlanta lawyer who travels to Charleston every two or three months, said the older body scanners are "a little embarrassing." After hearing about the new units as he sat in one of the airport's restaurants, Scott said he liked the sound of them.
"At the end of the day, if there's better technology that provides the same security but is less intrusive, I'm all for that sort of thing," he said.
Columbia Airport will be getting the same scanners over the next few weeks, the TSA announced this week. Myrtle Beach International was equipped with the devices last year.
The agency estimated that more than 570 of the units have been installed at about 130 U.S. airports.
Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him at on Twitter at @kearney_brendan.