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Automated Screening in Airports | Airport BlogAll over the globe, airport operators are seeking the seamless passenger experience for the traveller journey, from arrivals to departure.

Automation in airports is bringing this closer, particularly in the area of airport security.

It has been announced that the UK’s Department of Transport is looking to use automation technology for the screening of liquids, which currently are limited to just 100ml. This could mean the end of such limits in the UK, which currently has some of the strictest security measures in the world, according to a Department of Transport spokesperson.

The limit on carrying liquids onto aircraft was imposed in the summer of 2006, when a bomb plot was uncovered on a passenger flight. The chemicals were discovered in an ordinary drinks bottle, which at the time, would have been relatively simple to smuggle on board the aircraft.

The latest automated baggage screening technology uses 3D imagery, which can look at items in passenger baggage from all angles, and explosive detection technology, currently being trialled in the UK, could lead to the elimination of current liquids restrictions.

Reducing passenger security screening time

The time passengers spend in security lanes is already being reduced with the latest screening technology, and passengers are moving through these areas with greater efficiency than ever before, but, according to industry professionals, this can be improved even further with the latest in automation, enhancing passenger facilitation across the entire airport environment.

Some of the industry’s leaders, such as Rockwell Collins, have introduced solutions for passenger facilitation, including options for biometric identity management, boarding pass verification and automated border control. Using automation is universally accepted in the aviation industry as being the way forward for future travel, and passenger experience is high on the agenda.

If passengers no longer have to empty their hand luggage completely, remove liquids and other items to be screened separately, it is easy to see how this is going to speed up the process of security screening. There won’t be many passengers complaining about that!

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LAX Automated Passenger Screening | Airport Security News

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has almost reached its goal of opening 14 Automated Passenger Screening lines with just two units to go in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

The new automated screening lines (ASLs), installed as part of a program with Los Angeles World Airports and the TSA, are expected to increase passenger screening by up to 30% compared to the previous systems, and will help to improve passenger experience.

According to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the new ASLs will provide ‘the foundation for future security enhancements’ and deliver faster, more efficient passenger security and screening. The new system gives greater flexibility and decreases passenger waiting times with the opportunity for up to five travellers being able to deposit their items in trays simultaneously without waiting for the previous passenger to pass through first.

The project to replace the current system began in summer last year, and has, according to LAWA, been completed ahead of the planned schedule and under budget.

Keith Jeffries, federal security director for the TSA at LAX said, ‘The completion of the Automated Screening Lane project at TBIT is indeed a milestone that was reached because of the outstanding partnership between TSA and LAWA. TSA pledges to continue its focus on security operations while embracing innovative technologies.’

Another benefit of the ASLs is that they are large enough to hold an onboard bag and 25% larger than a standard screening tray. In addition, the trays have RFID tagging in place, to ensure traveller-baggage accountability through the screening process.

This latest project takes LAX’s total number of ASLs to 27, including those located in Terminals 2, 4 and 7.

International travellers from around the world are recognising the benefits of automation across the airport environment. The latest technology in airport automation is reducing waiting times and ground delays and improving operational productivity across every critical process, including passenger check-in, baggage handling and security screening.

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.

Finnair Test Facial Recognition System | Airports NewsAs biometric airport security systems soar in popularity around the world’s airports, Finnair announces the introduction of a comprehensive test of facial recognition technology at Helsinki Airport.

The testing of the latest layer to the check-in process for 1,000 passengers, has been running since the beginning of this month, and is expected to last until 23rd May 2017. The test group has been selected from frequent flyers using Helsinki Airport.

Face recognition technology could simplify and speed up the departure process from the customer’s point of view, and eliminate the need for a boarding pass,” said Sari Nevanlinna, Finnair’s Head of Ground Experience and Ancillary. “This test will give us information on the usability of face recognition technology for our processes, and the impact it has on the customer experience.

To take part in the ground-breaking testing for Finnair, passengers will be invited to upload an image of their face to the software platform. Then they will use a dedicated check-in desk to confirm that the facial recognition has proved successful.

Improving Passenger Facilitation with Self-Service Bag Drop | Business Aviation NewsToronto Pearson International Airport has announced that it is to implement a new self-service bag drop system to improve operational productivity and passenger experience.

Canada’s largest airport, who saw 41 million passengers through its gates in 2015, look forward to automating the baggage handling process, which is set to give airlines greater flexibility, and improve the efficiency of the entire check-in process for passengers, who can use mobile devices to check-in online and download their boarding passes.

All over the world, international airports are seeking new, technologically-advanced methods to streamline the passenger processing systems; making the process easier and less time-consuming for travellers, while maintaining critical airport security and improving resource management.

Providers of airport passenger facilitation systems, such as Rockwell Collins, are driven by IATA standards, the need to increase passenger experience, and the use of biometric solutions to ensure airport security remains of paramount importance.

The automation of baggage handling systems in airports is the way forward, giving passengers greater control of their journeys, cutting waiting time and reliance on IT infrastructure, and improving passenger flow with identity management solutions.

With more than 80% of the world’s airline passenger traffic now checking in online, and arriving at the airport with pre-printed boarding passes, it is clear that automation, and the introduction of self-service bag drop features is set to change the way the public travel.

Airports News | Business Aviation BlogIreland’s Shannon Airport has become the first international airport in the world to take part in a pioneering EU-funded trial for passenger screening using a new pre-clearance check point.

The initiative takes a combination of European and US pre-clearance check points, and amalgamates the best of each into one new concept, designed to comply with dual regulations.

The trial will focus on improving passenger experience, while making the most of the technology to enhance airport security screening. Currently, US-bound passengers must move through two separate screening systems, and queue separately each time.  The new system utilises just one check point, performing both screening requirements for compliance with each mandate.

Today, passenger experience is high on the priority list for airport operators, where traffic is increasing at an average rate of 5% every year. It is critical to maintain passenger flow to minimise airport congestion, yet equally, if not more important to realise security goals concurrently.

The trial of the new passenger screening check point will begin this month and run for an initial ten-week period.

cabin-services-worldwidePassengers experienced serious delays across the US last week when a Department of Homeland Security system went down. The system, used to check passenger data with terror watch lists was down for more than two hours, leading to a call to use more traditional methods of screening, such as paper forms.

Although many international passengers were unhappy about the delays, manual screening continued to ensure security measures were fulfilled and the system returned to life at approximately 9pm.

No evidence of hacking was discovered.