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Safe and secure


Airport World reviews some of the latest security developments and news stories from across
the globe.

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) has launched a pilot programme that uses innovative technology to provide social distancing information and assessment for customers at security checkpoints.

The project uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology and sophisticated software from partner CrowdVision to monitor, analyse and report on physical distancing at the airport’s B security checkpoint.

The system notifies customers when social distancing is adequate and encourages greater physical separation if needed. If passengers are too close together for too long a period of time, the system presents a reminder of social distancing guidelines.

BWI believes that it is among the first global airports to use LiDAR to monitor and report on security wait-times to help improve the passenger experience. LiDAR is the same laser-mapping technology used in autonomous vehicles.

The technology, it notes, uses safe, invisible pulsated laser light to detect objects, both in motion and at rest. Wait-time information produced from the system has been displayed at the airport’s four security checkpoints and the BWI Marshall website since 2019.

“The use of LiDAR technology to promote social distancing helps keep our customers safe and gives them comfort and confidence as they travel through BWI Marshall,” enthused Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) secretary, Greg Slater.

“This innovative system is another way we’re focusing on the health and safety of the public, our partners and our MDOT team.”

Collaborating with Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airports has collaborated with national flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines, to introduce a new Passenger Reconciliation System (PRS) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in a bid to enhance safety and speed up the security screening process.

“We continue to leverage technology in order to keep up with evolving security and safety requirements for an improved passenger experience,” says group chief executive officer of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh.

“With the PRS in place, we are looking at speeding up, strengthening, and simplifying the security process for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

“The PRS is key to an elevated e-boarding experience as it will also allow us to implement the ‘open gate’ concept at selected boarding gates, resulting in the creation of more space for passengers to sit and wait comfortably prior to boarding their flight.

“Malaysia Airlines being our first user, will also benefit from the system in terms of operational efficiency by scoring better turnaround times.”

Kuala Lumpur International Airport has installed 10 PRS unitsin Terminal 1 and 12 units across Terminal 2.

Enhancing security at Singapore Changi

Singapore Changi, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec to enhance and upgrade its security system.

The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec Security Center – a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface – underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process.

“Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights Security Center is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Genetec Inc’s commercial lead for transportation in Asia-Pacific.

Scanner upgrade for Kerry Airport

Kerry Airport in Ireland has enhanced its security operation by installing the country’s first Rohde & Schwarz supplied Quick Personnel Security (QPS) scanners.

The new addition to the airport’s security equipment (pictured above) is the QPS201 scanner, which the company says features enhanced second-generation algorithms that increase sensitivity to further boost threat detection, while minimising false alarms and reducing processing time.

It is also quick to point out that in addition to strengthening security, these performance gains reduce post-alarm manual checks and therefore help avoid physical contact to ensure social distancing.

Moreover, a more efficient scanning time with R&S QPS201 balances the effects of incoming new X-ray inspection systems, which scan items inside baggage that previously had to be removed, such
as laptops.

Kerry Airport’s chief security officer, Tom O’Driscoll, says: “Now is the right time for this investment in the future of Kerry Airport, to meet the heightened expectations for safety and security within our industry.

“Having recently installed explosives detection systems for cabin baggage, we are proud to now also adopt this state-of-the-art technology in Ireland, which will set new standards for service and wellbeing.”

New security checkpoint lanes at Charlotte Douglas

The new and improved security checkpoints at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), upgraded as part of a major $600 million terminal expansion project, feature Vanderlande’s automated screening lanes.

The upgrade has allowed the North Carolina gateway to consolidate its five security checkpoints into three high-efficiency checkpoints, all equipped with Automated Screening Lanes (ASLs) to increase throughput and enhance security.

Vanderlande was selected through an RFP process for the design and installation of the first five ASLs, which were deployed in December 2020.

Featuring the latest technology and powered by Vanderlande’s premium remote screening software, the state-of-the-art ASLs will allow CLT to centralise its screening operations to further improve operational efficiency.

The modular design of the lanes also eases the transition from AT X-rays to CT technology.

Vanderlande’s executive vice president for airports, Andrew Manship, says: “We are proud to support CLT in its terminal expansion project. We are looking forward to building on this new collaborative relationship which will help the airport reach its objectives, as well as provide a seamless screening experience to its passengers.”

Customer friendly security

Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, is to install HappyorNot customer feedback technology at the exits of the security checkpoints at eight of the country’s biggest airports.

According to HappyorNot, with this in-moment, actionable customer experience feedback data, “Avinor’s management and staff will be able to identify, and immediately rectify, issues that are affecting passenger satisfaction, and make improvements based on data, rather than unscientific hunches”.

It also claims that results from the first few months of operation in Oslo Airport showed that instant feedback increased engagement from team leaders in day-to-day operations.

Avinor’s passenger experience manager, Terje Orskaug, says: “We want our customers to enjoy the time they spend in our airports, and by utilising the feedback data collected via HappyOrNot terminals, we have a great opportunity to transform and improve the airport experience of our customers.

“This level of contextualised insight will enable us to better understand our customers, and also cater to their changing attitudes in light of the pandemic.”

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