Security check!

Airport World provides a round-up of the some of latest airport and aviation industry security news stories from across the globe.

Dawn of new era for airport security?

A walk-through security scanner that it is claimed can cut airport passenger queues is seeking to raise investment.

A series of demonstrations for investors in August is showing how the Sequestim scanner uses space technology to detect hidden objects.

By detecting heat from the human body, which acts as a light bulb, it is said to be able to easily detect and identify concealed items, even through heavy clothing.

Originally developed by researchers at Cardiff University to study the most distant objects in the Universe, the scanner films people as they walk by.

Unlike the body scanners now in use at airports, no radiation is shone at the passenger, and nobody sees the images, which in any case do not show intimate physical details.

Ken Wood, CEO of Sequestim Ltd, said: “Walk-through security screening is the Holy Grail for the aviation industry. Passenger numbers have risen incredibly fast post-pandemic. ICAO predicts that by the end of 2023, numbers of travellers on most routes will have grown beyond peak passenger numbers in 2019.

“Following a four-year cycle of investment, refinement and technological advance, we have a product that will impact the global security market. It is now ready for private equity investment.

“By embracing AI, the scanner can learn to recognise threats. With passenger numbers expected to double in 20 years, Sequestim can cut waiting times and revolutionise the security experience, giving travellers more time to enjoy airport shops and restaurants. At the same time, we will empower security to keep people safe.”

The company, which is 20% owned by Cardiff University, has worked closely with Rapiscan Systems, which manufactures security equipment and systems designed for checkpoints, cargo, vehicle, baggage, parcel, and air cargo security inspection.

Rapiscan’s chief technical officer, Ken Mann, said: “A walkthrough body screening system that can meet the high standards of the European Civil Aviation Conference and the USA’s Transportation Security Administration in real time would revolutionise aviation security.

“Sequestim’s high resolution imaging and ability to discriminate a range of items and materials shows significant potential for people screening applications.”

Using AI to speed up security checkpoints at Amsterdam Schiphol

The Royal Schiphol Group is starting a collaboration with security technology company Pangiam to investigate ways of screening hand baggage more quickly and safely at Amsterdam Schiphol.

The new technology, powered by artificial intelligence, could eventually help enable travellers to go through security checks faster, without compromising on safety. The aim of the collaboration is to explore how Pangiam’s new technology can improve and speed up hand baggage screening at Schiphol and other airports.

According to the airport, the technology uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to analyse images of hand baggage and identify prohibited items and other security risks. In the future, it says, the technology could support employees in this and speed up the process for travellers.

According to the airport, the technology uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to analyse images of hand baggage and identify prohibited items and other security risks. In the future, it says, the technology could support employees in this and speed up the process for travellers.

While Pangiam’s Alexis Long noted: “Royal Schiphol Group has an international reputation for innovation and excellence in technology. This collaboration allows us to bring the benefits of artificial intelligence to the security checkpoint and improve the process.”

Amsterdam Schiphol is the first major European airport to support Project DARTMOUTH, a collaboration between Pangiam and Google.

Schiphol is testing the new technology in practice and on a small scale in order for the system to be developed further. The technology can be applied to existing hardware and equipment, such as Schiphol’s CT scans.

It can also be used in combination with other software. If the technology meets all requirements and European regulations, and the trial period is successful, it will be implemented at scale.

The collaboration between Pangiam and Schiphol is part of a wider programme to accelerate the innovation and development of promising in-house and partner technology solutions.

Upgrading security at BHX

Smiths Detection has been selected to supply fully integrated checkpoints throughout Birmingham Airport (BHX) in the UK as part of its £20 million security screening upgrade.

The new security checkpoints will feature Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX, a computed tomography (CT) X-ray scanner, which produces high-resolution volumetric 3D images for quicker and deeper baggage assessment and low false-alarm rates.

Other new solutions to be supplied to Birmingham Airport includes the iLane, an automatic tray return system, and additional X-ray systems which will also be deployed at staff and visitor checkpoints.

BHX’s development and construction director, Stephen Barker, said: “Once built and operational in June 2024, our new pre-flight screening area will further enhance our already high standards of security as well as improve the efficiency of our operation. This improved efficiency will enable us to process customers quickly, especially at peak travel times.”

New CLEAR lane launched at Tulsa International Airport

CLEAR is launching its identity verification technology in the main terminal at Tulsa International Airport (TUL).

Its introduction is expected to bring frictionless and predictable travel experiences to the Oklahoma gateway, create 25 jobs and generate approximately $1.2 million annually in local economic impact.

“We’re thrilled to welcome CLEAR to Tulsa along with the customer experience they will offer to our passengers,” said Andrew Pierini, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Tulsa International Airport.

“CLEAR brings a cutting-edge amenity that allows passengers a smooth, expedited journey through airport security and we are excited to have them operating at TUL.”

CLEAR CEO, Caryn Seidman-Becker, stated: “CLEAR is on the side of the American traveller, and our lanes help make the journey as joyful as the destination. We’re excited to bring Tulsa’s travellers the predictable, seamless, and safe airport experience they deserve.”

Passengers use CLEAR’s network of dedicated lanes to verify their identity with their eyes or fingers, replacing the need to take out their wallet and driver’s license. After verification, a CLEAR Ambassador escorts members through the dedicated lane and directly to TSA physical security, saving them time waiting in line at the security checkpoint.

San Antonio recognised for short security wait times

A new study has ranked San Antonio International Airport (SAT) second in the United States for having a short security wait time. According to luggage storage service, Bounce, SAT’s average time is six minutes and six seconds.

“San Antonio has moved from eighth to second since last year, seeing its average wait time shrink by around five minutes,” the report said.

Jesus Saenz, director of airports, San Antonio Airport System, said the short time getting through the airport is the result of teamwork throughout several divisions. “We’re known for our efficiency in helping travellers fly easier,” enthused Saenz.

New MoU with TSA to advance and develop aviation security

ACI World, ACI-NA and the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance the development of secure and efficient aviation security operations globally.

The MoU seeks to formalise multiple workstreams and ensure the continued collaboration on and promotion of global aviation security projects of common interest for the benefit of travellers worldwide.

These workstreams include:
• Mutually identifying airports and to provide assistance to enhance security through the ACI Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security program and ACI World Smart Security programme.
• Collaborating on innovation programmes such as ACI World’s global first, AirportShare project, launching live wait time data from multiple airports for passengers and other internal and external data consumers through a standard feed.
• Exploring and supporting the One-Stop Security Program between select international and US city pairs. This programme seeks to increase security effectiveness, efficiency and the customer experience by eliminating redundant security screening.

ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, said: “ACI and TSA have a long-established partnership to enhance security across the world’s airports.

“In addition, TSA serves as the vice-chair of the Smart Security Management Group, led by ACI World to improve security, operational efficiency, and the passenger experience at security checkpoints across the world’s airports, focusing on innovation.

“We are pleased to formalise our relationship to further advance aviation security operations globally as we collectively keep up with growing air travel demand.”

ACI-NA president and CEO, Kevin Burke, says: “Collaboration is essential in support of our shared mission to provide for the safety and security of the travelling public and aviation workers. With our new MoU among our partners at TSA and ACI World, we are further strengthening our efforts to enhance aviation security while advancing innovation and the use of technology to improve the passenger experience through data sharing.”

TSA Administrator, David Pekoske, stated: “Through this partnership and collaboration, we are taking collective steps that enhance the security baseline in aviation, while making significant strides toward achieving greater security efficiency and effectiveness, in addition to better passenger experiences throughout the global transportation system.”

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