Airport profile: Curaçao
Event review: WAGA
Plus: Customer service; Diversity & Inclusion; Sustainability; and SMART Airports

Screen test

Editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the important role good security plays in the airport journey and passenger experience in this ‘security’ themed issue of Airport World.

I definitely should have known better, but on my way to Barcelona recently for the ACI EUROPE/ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, I forgot about the handkerchief in my trouser pocket when going through the body scanner at Heathrow, and subsequently was subjected to a full pat down search.

It was a simple mistake, but it reminded me of some of the ‘hassle’ factors of flying, which for many, peak during the airport security screening process.

Looking at things objectively, I think there is little doubt that the security process has improved over the years and, arguably, become more passenger friendly due to innovations such as bigger, wider and more open security lanes and better trained staff.

Technology also continues to advance at a pace. Indeed, technology exists today that allows liquids and electronics to be left in hand luggage at security checkpoints, but laptops invariably have to be removed from bags and also the case they are in before being sent through X-ray machines in separate trays.

Thankfully, the necessity to remove laptops will change with the widespread implementation of the next generation of Computed Tomography (CT) X-ray scanners, which are capable of much more accurate scans due to the high-resolution volumetric 3D images they produce.

For me, this will be a huge step forward in terms of enjoying the airport experience, although the old grouch in me means that I won’t be entirely satisfied with the airport screening process until we see the introduction of walk-through scanners, the likes of which we first saw in the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi movie, Total Recall.

Those of you with very long memories will remember that it was set on Mars and new arrivals simply walked through an X-ray tunnel/area which allowed security staff to scan them without anyone needing to stop or even slow down. What made the scene so memorable was the outline of Arnie’s skeleton projected onto a big screen as he walked through security.

I mention this because you can read about the exciting announcement of an almost identical technology being specifically developed for airports in the ‘security’ themed section of this issue of Airport World.

ACI World’s senior director for security, technology and innovation, Billy Shallow, addresses some of the key issues facing airport security in his introduction to the themed section.

In addition, the themed pages contain features about perimeter security; and Philadelphia International Airport’s decision to embrace biometric technology to enhance security and ensure the quick and easy facilitation of its passengers.

Elsewhere in this issue we provide a comprehensive report of the recent ACI EUROPE/ ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Barcelona; and cover the highlights of the SMART Airports and Regions Conference and Exhibition in Edmonton.

Also in this issue, we learn more about some of San Antonio International Airport’s most eye-catching customer service initiatives; highlight the need to focus on inclusion and diversity in the workplace; and consider the challenges of building and operating greener airports.

We also hear from ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira; discuss the importance of creating a work culture where employees feel valued and respected in our regular ‘people matters’ column; and report on the latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners (WBP).

Last, but not least, our main airport feature is on the small, but growing airport of Curaçao International Airport, which boasts one of the newest terminals in the Caribbean and an expanding international route network.

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