This 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.
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.
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.
An upgrade of western US’s airports and ports is to be deployed as part of the TSA’s mission to reinforce the security of national transport systems.
In a contract worth up to $450 million across western, eastern and Central America, the TSA mean to strengthen security under the Transportation Security Equipment Deployment Services (TEDS) project.
Lockheed Martin have received a contract for the western US and will install security technology equipment in several areas, covering airports, ports, cargo facilities and terminals.
All across the globe, borders are being strengthened and facility security providers are becoming ever-busier, as governments and agencies strive to install the latest that the security technology sector has to offer.
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.
The Philippines plan to streamline the passenger processing system for their Mactan Cebu International Airport by implementing a range of Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airport solutions.
Among the upgrades will be the installation of ARINC VeriPax on the Gunnebo Security Group automated gates in a collaboration between the two companies. This will enhance security with an automatic validation of passenger flight details at check-in.
The airport already uses ARINC vMUSE common-use technology and self-service check-in kiosks.
The sixth hearing of the Senate committee this year focused upon the U.S’s borders security technology, perimeters and infrastructure this week.
Chaired by Mr Ron Johnson, testimony was given on the current state of borders security as the committee look forward to the next steps to be taken to increase effectiveness.
Representatives from Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencies gave testimony at the hearing where it was noted the ‘DHS could do a better job of collecting data’.
Information was also shared and discussed regarding perimeter fencing of airport environments, and the use of improved technology to increase situational awareness, an area that many committee members feel is seriously lacking.
Physical security measures in airports are the ‘front line.’ These would include perimeter fencing and security surveillance equipment. Other measures that focus upon enhanced technology with biometric solutions are becoming increasingly popular around the world, particularly as passenger demand increases for greater control of their travel arrangements with self-service systems.
Across the UAE, airports will be launching biometric screening systems in a project to upgrade the physical security with multimodal measures including eGates.
The project has been prompted, according to ministry officials, by ‘numerous security challenges in the region’ and as Dubai International airport in particular expects more than 80 million passengers during the coming year, the requirements for improved security measures are clear.
In addition to airport security, the plans are expected to include all the country’s borders, with the implementation of fingerprint, eye and facial scanning technology. eGates will strengthen security immediately and help with screening and tracking of passengers leaving and entering the country.
Across the world we see international airports making improvements to physical and biometric security – a result of increased threats from terror organisations all over the globe.
Flight passenger numbers are increasing every year by an average of 5%, which may not sound like much, but we are talking millions of travellers passing through country’s border management systems, placing strain on many an airport infrastructure.
In addition to this growing pressure, airports and border agencies are also faced with the increasing threat of terrorism, which is also growing at an alarming pace, particularly over the last few years.
So what is the answer? Airports all over the world are being left with no other choice than to invest heavily in strengthening security measures across the entire airport environment.
This has led to a surge in growth for the airport security systems sector, which, according to new analysis from Frost and Sullivan estimates that the market will earn revenues in the region of $12-$13million by 2023. The study looked at the areas of perimeter security, surveillance and access control amongst many other aspects including data integration and cyber security as we see the concerns rising with the development and utilisation of connectivity onboard aircraft.
With NextGen technologies also poised to catapult the entire industry into the future, aviation security providers must be ready to go global.
Keith Vaz, chair of UK Home Affairs Select Committee, has openly criticised the state of the UK immigration system in a report that warns the system is in ‘intensive care’.
The report comes after almost ten years of troubled services for the UK borders, including the e-borders scheme that never quite made it off the mark. Mr Vaz is concerned that the promise of exit checks at British ports in the form of departure lists, set to be introduced this spring will not be forthcoming as he commented within the report that the list ‘no longer looks likely’.
Mr Vaz’ concerns grow as he looks at the increased risk of illegal migration and security. Bemoaning the actions, or lack of them, of previous governments he said, “Successive governments have spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on the botched e-borders programme. Everyone who enters and leaves Britain must be counted in and out.” In 2003, plans were launched for the collection of Advance Passenger Information for those leaving the UK. API is received from airlines and operators bringing passengers into the UK, but there is a distinct lack of information about those that pass across our borders into Europe and beyond.
Mr Cameron argued that much is being done to halt the progress of illegal immigration and figures are being met. The debate continues.