Dublin Airport has taken the first step in introducing controversial full-body security scanners after the foiled US terror plot at Christmas.
The Dublin Airport Authority is to spend €2m setting up a "purchasing system" that would allow the authority to buy the scanning equipment if needed. No final decision has been made on the introduction of the scanners, which produce X-ray-like images that can reveal if there are packages concealed beneath a passenger's clothing.
According to the contract for the purchasing framework, which was put out to tender yesterday, the DAA wishes "to procure body scanners under a six-year framework agreement".
It goes on to state that the requirement for the scanners was "partially driven by recent events in the aviation industry". According to the tender document, the "proposed solution" would be implemented in the existing terminal at Dublin Airport. It would initially take the form of a trial run in the existing Dublin Airport terminal. If successful, this would then be extended to the rest of the terminal.
This may be followed at the discretion of the DAA by roll out to any, all or none of the other terminals in Dublin (T2), Cork and Shannon.
Britain and the Netherlands have been pushing ahead with their own plans to introduce the scanners to prevent terrorist attacks.
This followed the foiled bombing of a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.
Authorities said 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was travelling to Detroit from Amsterdam when he tried to ignite an explosive on board.
However, other EU members are hesitant to spend the money to install the scanners amid concerns over privacy violations and their effectiveness.