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SAFETY & SECURITY Last modified on February 19, 2015

Travel safe

What’s hot and what’s not in the world of airport security? Joe Bates rounds up the latest global news.

New screening conceptfor Amsterdam Schiphol 

Amsterdam Schiphol has opened the first of five new central security checkpoints that are specifically designed to enhance passenger comfort and privacy. 

Passengers travelling to Schengen countries were among the first to experience the new-look checkpoints, which boast sound-absorbing materials, light colours and an automatic tray return system.

Describing its new new approach to security control, the airport notes:
“Light colours, plenty of wood and rounded shapes give the space a serene and comfortable look and feel, which is further enhanced by the use of sound-absorbing materials.

“The automated system offers passengers a (larger) tray before entering the scanner, to which the gates open upon presentation of their boarding pass. The set-up also allows passengers who need less time to bypass those who need more.”

As part of the revamp, the surface area of the checkpoint has almost doubled, allowing passengers and Schiphol Security Service staff more room.

“Our new security concept is intended to make screening as comfortable as possible for passengers at Schiphol, now and in the future,” enthuses president and CEO, Jos Nijhuis.

The new central security concept will be integrated throughout the whole of Schiphol in 2015, ensuring that passengers will only have to be screened once. 

As well as enhanced comfort, the new security concept also anticipates the airport’s future growth, changes in laws and regulations, and new technological developments.


Liquid test

Smiths Detection’s advanced X-ray inspection system HI-SCAN 6040-2is HR has obtained Standard 3 Type C, an extended approval as Liquid Explosive Detection System (LEDS) under the requirements of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC).

The dual-view X-ray inspection system is specifically designed for the automatic detection of liquid explosives at security checkpoints where bags and personal belongings are screened. 

According to Smiths Detection, it features higher detection capabilities designed to reveal hazardous liquids in cabin baggage, and as such enhances the level of security at checkpoints. It also claims that its detection capabilities will ensure bags are subject to additional re-inspection, speeding up the entire inspection process.

Barrie Foley, vice president EMEA of Smiths Detection, said: “The HI-SCAN 6040-2is HR is one of our newest products and the first dual-view X-ray system in the world to achieve this standard. Thanks to the extended approval, the system offers particularly good value for money.”


Cloud solution for Gatwick

London Gatwick Airport has introduced a new technology, MTrust, an airport ID pass application vetting and issuance solution, hosted in the IT cloud.

Human Recognition Systems (HRS), which developed the application, says it reduces pass rejections and waiting times.

The firm explains it streamlines the ID centres operations to “increase security and improve service”, and provides “streamlined ID pass management with absolute certainty of identity”.

Michael Ibbitson, CIO at Gatwick, explains: “As we look towards 45 million passengers and a second runway, it’s important to be ready for growth and a significant increase in the number of people that will require an airport pass.

“By 2021/22 we want to be in a position to handle 40 million passengers a year, whilst creating an additional 1,200 on-airport jobs.

“So when Human Recognition Systems approached us about MTrust, the benefits of the system not just to ourselves but to our partners and on-airport customers were obvious.

“MTrust will enable us to issue passes faster, whilst taking the frustrations away from our on-airport customers and at the same time improving security and reducing insider threat.”

Developed in close partnership with the UK’s second largest airport, MTrust is now live with 2,500 authorised signatories, providing them with the tools they need to submit and track pass applications.

Neil Norman, CEO at HRS, says: “We decided it was time to re-evaluate and re-think (and not just automate) the existing 25-year-old airport ID pass process and improve it for all stakeholders.

“We believe airports, on-airport companies and other stakeholders need a new community and industry-wide solution that can create improved security, customer service and efficiency. And that is exactly what we have created with MTrust.”


Easy come, easy go!

Passengers from the European Union who hold electronic passports can now use self-service immigration control technology to accelerate their arrival and departure at Rome’s Fiumicino–Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.

In an Automated Border Control gates (ABCGates) trial with SITA, more than 3,000 passengers a day are clearing customs and immigration at the airport using the latest technology.

The system uses biometric technology – a combination of facial recognition and fingerprints – to quickly confirm that the passenger is the passport holder and is authorised to enter the country. 

Airport operator, Aeroporti di Roma (AdR), claims that the machines will reduce passenger wait times and allow Customs and Immigration staff to focus their resources on potential high-risk passengers.

Dave Bakker, president, SITA Europe, says: “We’re using the latest biometrics to facilitate fast, accurate and secure passenger processing at the border so that airports and governments can reach the fine balance between providing a warm welcome and ensuring a high level of border security.”

• Hermes Airports has introduced automatic electronic gates for departing passengers at Larnaka International Airport in Cyprus, which it claims is another step in its “continuous efforts to upgrade services”.

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