A new automated border control system is now in operation in the Caribbean at Curacao International Airport.
The new system will speed up passenger processing as the airport traffic increases significantly, with self-service gates and real-time passenger data checks, including background screening and API.
The system, provided by Vision-Box, implements an intelligent Passenger Flow system with graphical interfaces for a user-friendly experience.
Other providers of automated border control systems across the world are also experiencing a surge in requirement of self-service and automated passenger processing and screening systems as the need for greater security increases. Improving passenger experience is also high on the list of priorities for international airports on a global scale.
The UK’s Home Office has been openly criticised this week over the e-borders scheme, which was besieged by problems since it was launched in 2003, last year ending its current form, which proved to be completely ineffective.
The borders scheme, costing around £830 million originally intended to collect passenger data and perform analysis on all travellers arriving at and leaving the UK’s airports and seaports.
Many of the criticisms are regarding not only the spending acceleration of the project, but also its failure to meet its targets, with an estimated 20% of booking data being collected, compared to the 100% original target figure. Advance Passenger Information collection in September of this year was at 86%.
The original contract for the provision of the e-borders technology was cancelled, and a subsequent £150 million settlement was paid out-of-court.
While the system has been upgraded, the original e-borders scheme is way overdue, with an estimated completion date now set at around 2019, eight years past the intended deadline.
E-borders technology improvements all over the world are proving successful in the ability to track the movements of terror suspects and to minimise the risks to national security. The latest developments offer solutions using biometric data and self check in.
The UK Home Office maintain that despite the delays and problems with the implementation of the new e-borders system, all arrivals on UK shores are checked against national watch lists.
The UK Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron has announced that the UK aviation security budget will be doubled to £18 million, in a bid to combat the threats to the country, and following the devastating attacks in Paris that have rendered France in a state of emergency.
Mr Cameron also claimed that seven terrorist plots in the UK had been headed off during this year, one of which was in the last month.
He also added that government funding plans include the recruitment of 1900 additional officers for the intelligence agencies GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.
The news is welcomed as a general feeling of concern spreads through the UK and other European countries. Mr Cameron will be in meetings with heads of state from around the world in the coming weeks and months to discuss the possibility of attacks on Daesh, the Islamic group that claims it was behind the recent attacks.
Many passengers dread the security screening process in airports. Although most of us are not carrying prohibited items, that feeling of being screened give us a sense of guilt anyway.
Baggage handling systems in airports have inevitably improved in the past five years and screening using the latest technology has undoubtedly speeded up the entire check-in process. Systems such as ExpressDrop have given passengers greater control of their journey times using self-service kiosks and bag drop desks to have baggage weighed, measured and tagged before leaving the terminal to continue through the screening process.
Some of the world’s top security experts have said that the greatest threats to airport security can come from inside the terminal, with personnel having greater access to vulnerable areas. It is thought that the Metrojet incident was likely caused by the placement of a bomb by a baggage handler, which begs the question are these self-service, automated systems going to improve security by effectively reducing the amount of handling baggage goes through by ‘real’ hands?
Undoubtedly, airport security screening must step up to look as closely at the airport staff as it does at the passengers, particularly now, as the entire world feels vulnerable to attack.
It is with interest that the latest report from TechNavio entitled ‘Global Aerospace Components Aviation Security Market 2015-2019’ has been studies by the industry.
With global threats to the aviation security sector coming thick and fast, and not just focussing on physical security, but cyber security, airports infrastructure and information management, the industry is all too aware that the world is watching.
TechNavio predict that the global aviation security sector will continue to grow at a rate of just over 7% through the years 2014-2019. Increased investment is expected in biometrics technology, screening and the latest radio frequency identification (RFID).
The Aviation Security Symposium and Awards (AVSEC) opening convocation in Dubai began with a warning from Emirates CEO, Sir Tim Clark, that both airlines and security professionals must keep pace by working together in the face of ever-increasing and sophisticated threats to global aviation.
Sir Clark said that ‘If the threats have changed, then so must the management of these threats,’ speaking of the 9/11 terror attacks and the issue of reliance of metal and x-ray detectors to screen passengers and cargo, making the assumption that security ‘has been enforced.’
While technological solutions are improving across the world, particularly in the area of biometrics screening, Clark also stressed that training and education of both professionals and the public about security threats is key to maintaining safety.
All over the world, automated passenger processing and pre-processing of travellers is streamlining the way we move through airports. Physical interaction with airport personnel is reducing as an increasing number of airports move towards automation.
While the threat of terrorism is still on the increase, automated passenger processing is still a growing requirement, and many believe that aviation security is only benefitting from automation and the use of passenger screening and processing technology.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has estimated that numbers of worldwide airline passengers will reach more than 7 billion by 2034 and automated passenger processing and security will be the only way to efficiently handle such volume.
The Ministry of Transport in Oman has given to go-ahead for the installation of a new integrated security system for two of the country’s airports. Muscat International Airport and the new Salalah Airport will receive a new state-of-the-art, comprehensive system to include perimeter security intrusion detection, security check points and access control, overseen by a new data management centre.
The contact has been awarded to Thales, French technology firm, who will also be responsible for training and testing as part of the deal agreed this week.
Airports across the world are stepping up their security as the threat of terrorism and smuggling increases. Airport security providers are using the latest technology to develop powerful, high performance systems to strengthen border security.
London City Airport (LCY) has embraced the holiday season, and the inevitable increase in passenger traffic, with the installation of 26 self-service check-in kiosks to help speed up passenger processing.
Designed by SITA, the kiosks are user-friendly and can also display flight information, including flight disruption and way finding.
Other providers of airport self-service kiosks, such as ARINC, utilise common use terminal equipment for the addition of single bag drop points for multiple airlines, further streamlining the check in process.
As passenger numbers rise at a global average of 5% every year, and noticeably more-so at certain peak times, it is clear that the increase of automated airport check-in systems is also inevitable.
In a bid to speed up and tighten passenger processing, as many airports around the world are, Barcelona El Prat Airport have implemented the latest technology with biometric passport control that includes fingerprint and facial recognition features.
Biometric and automated border control systems function with the use of ePassports and e-ID cards and are designed to increase passenger processing time while strengthening security and integrate with other airport systems. Many such improvements in Europe are co-financed by the European Commission as part of a ‘Smart Borders Programme’.
Barcelona’ El Prat airport will now join many other Spanish airports, including Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante with the implementation of their new system.