© Cameron RichardsonFull body scanner ... Sydney Airport will be the first in Australia to trial the scanner with Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese claiming privacy and health concerns have been addressed.
A full body scanner billed as "the most advanced passenger screening technology available in the world'' has been unveiled at Sydney Airport today as part of a two week trial of the equipment.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said passengers would be able to volunteer to test the device, which uses low-energy radio waves to detect items concealed under clothing, as of tomorrow.

Despite emitting 10,000 times less radiation than a single mobile phone call, advanced computer software can detect miniscule differences in the radio wave radiation that is reflected from the body, highlighting suspicious objects on a "stick figure" outline of the person.

"We regard aviation safety and security as our most important priority,'' Mr Albanese said.

"It is safe, it is secure, privacy concerns have been addressed.''

While taxpayers will fund the trail and associated research, costing about $6 million dollars, Mr Albanese said the cost of any roll-out of the machines would be borne by private airport operators.

He said the trial would ensure potential issues are addressed before a full roll-out, with the likely outcome being that similar machines would be introduced in addition to existing metal detectors at major airports.

The two week test in Sydney will be followed by a similar trial in Melbourne next month.

Airport body scanners have been a contentious issue. In Italy in September last year, the government dropped the use of full-body scanners for security checks in airports, judging them slow and ineffective.

Dr John Sedat, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), in November last year refuted the claim by the US government that the devices were [not] a health risk.