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.
Global airports face a significant growth in passenger traffic, as well as having to deal with time, space, and financial constraints. The fourth article of our airport security series explores how they can keep up with this intense demand with limited resources.
In response, some airport operators opt to build new checkpoints or even new terminals. While this certainly solves a capacity issue, it requires significant financial investment, long lead times, and sufficient footprint availability. In many cases, airports don’t have the space – or potentially the capital – to expand at the same rate as passenger traffic.
Lack of available space can be a limiting factor, as many airports simply can’t expand within their existing facilities or migrate to new ones. Alongside this, increasing the size of security screening operations can reduce the floor space allocated to retail and commercial activities, resulting in a potential loss of revenue.
The implementation of new, more efficient technologies at the checkpoint can help airports cope with current and future demand. For instance, the use of centralised image processing (CIP) allows more than one agent to perform the image analysis tasks for a single lane. This means that airports can add more screening agents as necessary, rather than opening a new lane.
As a result, the entire checkpoint benefits from an increased throughput capacity, but with the same number of lanes or less. The overall capacity is increased still further when CIP is combined with automated screening lanes (ASLs).
With air traffic rising at such a rapid pace, it is not realistic for airports to embark on lengthy checkpoint upgrade projects. By automating and centralising screening operations, minimal disruption is caused to operations.
Thanks to its modular design, Vanderlande’s ASL can be installed in record time. The lane has been designed with a ‘plug and play’ approach, which means that each module can be easily and quickly connected on site allowing airports to rapidly resume their screening activities.
Upgrading the security checkpoint with ASLs and CIP may require a higher initial investment per lane in comparison with traditional, manual lanes. However, the total investment for the checkpoint is lessened, because by implementing both technologies, the number of lanes required to achieve the desired throughput is reduced.
This means that fewer lanes, X-ray scanners and other checkpoint devices need to be purchased initially. Airports using remote screening alongside ASLs can also expect an excellent ROI by reducing their operational expenses, a subject that will be covered in the next article of our series. Alternatively, you can further explore the world of checkpoint security in our previous blogs (part 1, part 2 and part 3).