Blog series: Eight challenges at the security checkpoint and how to address them
Airports are facing multiple challenges worldwide. Whether they expect a year over year passenger growth or they are confronted with a full stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they must continuously optimise their operations to maintain passenger satisfaction and improve their competitiveness in the market. This series of blogs identifies eight major challenges many airports face in security screening - a critical step in a passenger's journey.
From the moment a passenger books a flight, to when they board a plane, hundreds of data points are created. Airports have the opportunity to use this information to monitor and improve their own performance.
However, gathering this data and analysing it without the correct tools can consume precious time and resources, often leading airport operators to focus on other priorities.
The security checkpoint is a critical step of the passenger’s journey through the airport. It comprises multiple elements such as automated screening lanes (ASLs), X-ray scanners, walk-through metal detectors (WTMDs), body scanners, and explosive trace detectors (ETDs).
At a traditional checkpoint, each of these elements provides the airport with statistics through vendor-specific platforms. However, this makes it hard for operators to interpret the information and see the whole picture.
To improve in this area, airports can use business intelligence tools to gather data created from across the checkpoint and store it in a central repository. Once the data is collected, Vanderlande software can be used to organise it in user-friendly, web-based monitoring and reporting tools. These provide access to both real-time and historical statistics such as throughput, analysis time and reject rates.
This allows airports to react quickly and readjust their operations when needed, improve their planning, and become more proactive. Customised and industry-standard (TIP) reports are also made available to safeguard regulatory compliance.
Although the equipment’s performance should be closely monitored, the human factor shouldn’t be ignored. Screening agents have a major influence on checkpoint operations and their performance should also be monitored to alleviate unnecessary bottlenecks.
By providing supervisors with near real-time statistics on active agents – such as TIP scores, number of rejects and image analysis time – Vanderlande’s software can help them to improve resource management and detect unusual behaviour.
Monitoring screening activities can also help operators detect technical issues. At such times, maintenance should be carried out as quickly as possible to resume operations.
SCADA software is provided with Vanderlande’s ASL and provides statistics on the full lane and its separate modules. By using SCADA, maintenance teams can easily locate the source of a potential issue, avoiding unnecessary work.
As mentioned earlier in our series, centralising and automating screening operations can improve the checkpoint’s efficiency via increased throughput, reduced costs and data management. However, the industry is evolving at such a rapid pace that answering today’s industry requirements won’t be enough for airports, which should already be preparing for the future.
Read the final article of our series to see how airports can seamlessly transition to the checkpoint of tomorrow while keeping up with new trends and regulations. Alternatively, you can further explore the world of checkpoint security in our previous blogs (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6).