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Munich Airport Security Breach Leads to Hundreds of Cancelled Flights | Airports NewsAround 200 flights were cancelled, and two terminals evacuated at Munich Airport on Saturday, following reports of an unauthorised entry to a secure area by an unidentified adult female.

According to the reports, the woman entered a secure area of Terminal 2 with no security checks and then disappeared. This was originally reported to the Police at 06:45am local time. An extensive, five-hour search of Germany’s second-busiest airport followed, and the terminal remained closed between 07:47am and 12:44pm while Police conducted a thorough investigation, and flights resumed at 1pm GMT.

Delays have led to the continuation of cancellations, and the airport warned airlines more cancellations could follow. By Sunday afternoon the number had risen to 300 cancelled flights, which left more than 32,000 passengers stranded.

According to local newspaper reports, Police have identified the 40-year-old woman, who was not considered to be an ‘extreme danger’. It is not yet clear if she will face any criminal charges for the airport security breach.

The breach was taken extremely seriously, and restaurants and duty-free stores also closed during the search. Passengers who had already cleared security areas were redirected through the arrivals lounge to pass through security again. Delays were severe and led to hundreds of passengers taking to social media to voice their concerns and in some cases, fury at the temporary closure.

The incident delayed sixty flights on the ground, which led to chaos in the airport. Passengers have since said that there was a worrying lack of information surrounding the situation, which was made worse by searing temperatures and led to several passengers being treated by Paramedics. According to local news, at one point, the Munich fire department was called in to blow fresh air into large ventilators in an attempt to cool down the airport.

Terminal two airlines were most badly affected, and inside around 700 people spent the night on camp beds in the terminal, as local hotels did not have sufficient capacity.

Thousands of passengers returned to rebook flights on Sunday, as delays continued throughout the day as airlines and airport operators struggled to deal with the backlog.

The airport is advising passengers to be patient and to contact the airline before attending the terminals.

US Tightens Airport Security | Additional Passenger Screening and Mobile DevicesThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced further measures to tighten airport security across the country, with plans for additional screening of passengers and their personal devices.

Proposals have not included an expansion of the laptop ban, as expected, but will require the additional security measures to be carried out at 280 global airports in 105 countries carrying passengers bound for the US.

John Kelly, the secretary of DHS, said, ‘Our enemies are adaptive and we have to adapt as well.

The additional measures will be applied to more than 180 airlines, including those of US origin, and will be phased in over the next few months. Airlines face a blanket ban on electronic devices carried on direct, non-stop flights, if they do not comply with the new standards. Currently, the laptop ban is in place for travellers from just 10 cities operating direct flights to the US.

It was suggested by the US government, that the laptop ban be extended to include European city airports, but according to Mr Kelly, the government are ‘looking at alternatives.’

Although the details of the additional measures have not yet been officially clarified, officials have said that precise requirements will vary from airline to airline, with some only needing to make small changes according to their current security levels, and that a range of new systems, including new passenger screening technology installation, may be needed.

self-service-tech-schipholSome of the very latest biometric technology and self service solutions are on trial at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport this year, in conjunction with Holland’s most famous airline, KLM.

The new technology on trial will involve volunteer passengers, who will board their flights without taking their passports out of their bags, or showing their boarding passes to any personnel at the airport.

Facial recognition technology will be used during the three-month trial, which will test the process thoroughly, including how user-friendly the completely self-service system will be, in addition to its effectivity, reliability and speed of processing.

Schiphol Airport spokesperson said, ‘The ultimate goal is to make the boarding process as easy and quick as possible for passengers. The trial will take place at a selected gate at the airport. To use facial recognition for boarding, passengers must register first. There is a special registration kiosk in the waiting area at the gate. KLM staff will assist with the procedure.’

Schiphol Airport has been at the forefront of trialling new technology, and is also taking part in tests and trials for a new hand baggage scanner, which in the future may negate the necessity for removal of laptops, liquids and other items from hand baggage.

Airport security providers around the world are striving to introduce solutions for passenger processing and security screening that will increase efficiency. Common use identity management solutions have been proved to improve passenger flow, while maintaining security. Such solutions can only serve to improve efficiency, productivity and passenger satisfaction, which is a welcome break for the modern, busy airport facing challenges and increasing mandatory security requirements year-on-year.

eborders technologyThis years’ Passenger Terminal Expo, held in Cologne, Germany, promises to showcase automated border control solutions to further enhance aviation security, yet continue to streamline the passenger experience.

Secunet and Veridos, German security providers, will be in Hall 10 with their EasyPASS solution.

The benefits of automated border control are far-reaching, with advantages to be realised on both ‘sides’ of the gate. Installing an automated system, border officials and agencies are able to focus their efforts on those passengers that require additional security checks, while airports enjoy an expedited passenger processing system to increase efficiency throughout the terminal environment.

The experience is also enhanced for passengers, who can pass through the check-in and security process far more quickly, reducing queueing time and creating a more flexible environment for travellers.

Other providers of automated border control solutions, such as Rockwell Collins’ e-borders, continue to use the latest technological advancements to enhance flexibility while maintaining a higher level of security for airports all over the world.

airport-securityPublic opinion varies wildly about the effectivity of airport screening, with many passengers simply feeling violated after security screening, rather than safer.

The TSA has been around for 15 years, and recent reports suggest that screening personnel are under-performing. Some think that there is too much focus on the process of screening, and not enough on performance, which could lead to another terrorist attack.

Perhaps the answer lies in automated airport security, and with the introduction of sophisticated biometric security systems, why not? If human error is to be blamed for under-performance, then airports around the world are bound to become reliant on technology to keep borders secure.

Airport Systems Providers for Biometric Border SecuritySuperCom, global provider of electronic intelligence solutions has today announced that they will be implementing a high-scale National Security e-Government contract consisting of several, integrated modules. The system is intended to enhance the security of the Country’s borders and add to the economic growth.

Included in the e-Gate security system will be:

Biometric eGate for border control will be deployed at all port entry/exit points for air, sea and land to increase national security for immigration control and improve efficiency.

Biometric Visa applications will reduce processing time and aid the identification of potential security threats to the country.

Biometric Resident Identification System will implement biometric enrolment stations for the issue of ICAO-compliant resident ID cards.

Biometric e-Passport System for the issue of ICAO-standard high security e-Passports.

Providers of electronic borders solutions bring enhanced levels of efficiency to passenger processing while maintaining secure borders. The implementation of systems can help to reduce waiting times with the expedition of ‘low-risk’ travellers and the identification of potential ‘high-risk’ passenger for further investigation.

Automated Border Control BenefitsAtlanta International Airport have unveiled the latest in automated passport control in conjunction with the US Customs and Border Protection authority. The kiosks will operate in concourses E & F and will be available to passengers with Electronic System for Travel Authorization approval.

The system allows such passengers to submit their Customs Declaration and other travel and personal information electronically, which will reduce the time they will be required to spend with a CBP officer. The average reduction will be 20-40% in waiting time and will greatly improve efficient expedition of these passengers.

As passenger numbers grow across the globe on a yearly basis, many airports are looking into electronic border control solutions to increase passenger processing, while maintaining security. Ground delays are kept to a minimum, as ‘safe’ passengers can be expedited, leaving more time for border agencies to screen other travellers.

“These new kiosks will go a long way to improve the overall experience for our international customers coming into Atlanta because they provide a more efficient process for exiting customs,” said John Laughter, senior vice president for Delta`s Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. “We strive to provide our customers with an enjoyable travel experience through all aspects of our operation including Customs and Border Protection checkpoints.”

Maintaining Airport Security Whilst Improving Passenger ExperienceBy the end of February passengers at McCarran International Airport will be able to apply for PreCheck, a scheme that will allow expedited check-in for up to five years at a cost of $85.

The scheme will be run by the Transportation Security Administration PreCheck Application Center, based in the Airport Terminal 1, and will follow more than 100 airports across the country that currently operate the screening program.

Passengers will apply for a Known Traveller Number, which will be granted after rigorous identity verification processes, fingerprinting and immigration status investigations, allaying fears from opposers of the scheme, who raised initial concerns about maintaining high security for airline passengers.

Once membership is granted, successful applicants will pay an $85 fee for a five-year period of expedited processing. PreCheck will allow passengers to pass through airport security without being held up by the usual process of removing their shoes for screening or without removing laptops and TSA-compliant liquids from their hand luggage.

Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of aviation for Clark County welcomes the scheme, saying “At McCarran, our priority is a positive travel experience for passengers and expedited screening provides just that.”

Increasing Efficiency of Airport Security Screening TechniquesA team comprising of representatives from the Canadian airport authorities and airlines has been formed to conduct a study with an aim to speed up the process of airport security screening. The Airport Pre-Board Screening Efficiency Team will focus upon ways to improve the speed of airport security screening without compromising the security of passengers.

In 2012, more than 51 million passengers, at 106 checkpoints and 311 screening lanes were screened by 5,400 screening officers at Canada’s airports; an improvement of 30% compared to 2010, from 90 to 120 passengers per lane, per hour during peak times.

Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Transport said, “I trust the Airport Pre Board Screening Efficiency Team will find efficiencies that can be implemented without undue cost to Canadian travellers. Transport Canada will provide appropriate supports to this team.”