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SAFETY & SECURITY Last modified on October 26, 2018

AI and tunnel vision

New technology for screening staff in Oakland, a planned new biometric tunnel in Dubai, and an upgrade to JFK Terminal 4’s Security Operations Centre come under the spotlight in our security news round-up.

Oakland International Airport (OAK) – a TSA Test Innovation Site for new technology – has installed Evolv Edge, a physical threat detection and prevention system powered by artificial intelligence, to streamline its employee screening programme.

The installation enhances OAK’s security posture by protecting against metallic and non-metallic threats while simultaneously improving operational efficiency.

The gateway is looking for innovative new ways of carrying out security checks of staff and equipment as its workforce expands to cope with rising passenger numbers, which passed 13.2 million in 2017 to cement its status as the second busiest airport in northern California.

According to Evolv Technology, its solution provides OAK with the ability to screen employees for metallic and non-metallic threats with a fast, non-invasive process.

Designed with built-in wheels for portability, OAK can easily move the system throughout the airport allowing maximum efficiency for its employee inspection programme.

“With today’s threat landscape, the security perimeter has expanded beyond traditional checkpoints,” says CEO, Mike Ellenbogen.

“Evolv Edge’s flexibility and portability provides Oakland International Airport with an added layer of security when it comes to employee screening. Oakland International Airport is always at the forefront of innovation, and we will continue working closely with their team to ensure success and safety.”

Smart tunnel planned for DXB

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is set to trial a new ‘smart tunnel’ that carries out biometric scans of passengers as they walk through it and look at videos projected onto its walls.

In essence, while passengers admire the views – a virtual aquarium and wild horses are just two of the films that have been tested to date – 80 in-built cameras are used to scan each person’s iris and face to verify their identity.

Travellers have to pre-register before using the biometric tunnel by visiting one of the airport’s 3D face scanning kiosks; then, when they’ve walked through the smart tunnel, their biometrics will be compared to their digital profile and, if it’s a match, they’ll be waved through.

In theory, this could mean that passengers no longer need to pass through a traditional airport security checkpoint or even have to use e-gates and other self-service technologies, although in reality this scenario is still years away.
tunnel vision
Speaking about the aquarium concept, Dubai’s Deputy Director General of Residency and Foreign Affairs, Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri, told The National newspaper: “The fish is a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveller but, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of the travellers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his/her face print.

“The virtual images are of very high quality and gives a simulation of a real-life aquarium.”

The new security tunnels could be introduced in Terminal 3 by the end of this year and, if they prove successful, launched in the other terminals by 2020, although a spokesman for Dubai Airports insists that they remain “a concept only at this point”.

Upgrade for Security Operations Centre at JFK’s T4

New York–JFK’s Terminal 4 has awarded Thales a contract to upgrade its Security Operations Centre (SOC) as part of a modernisation project to enhance security operations at the facility.

Under the terms of a three-year deal, Thales will deliver an Airport Operation Control Centre (AOCC) platform that provides processes and procedures to make the management of security and operations at the terminal smoother and more efficient.

It will also provide a command and control centre to enhance situational awareness of terminal activities, while giving the operators complete functionality of all sub-systems and allowing security staff to be more proactive. The technologies will help the newly expanded terminal keep pace with rising passenger demand. It currently accommodates around a third of 59 million passengers handled annually at New York’s busiest gateway.

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