InsightsManaging increasing OPEX

Blog series: Eight challenges at the security checkpoint and how to address them

Airports are facing multiple challenges worldwide. From increasing passenger volumes to changing regulations, they must optimise their operations to maintain passenger satisfaction and improve their competitiveness in the market. This series of blogs identifies eight major challenges faced by many airports at the security checkpoint – a critical step in a passenger’s journey.

Part 5: Managing increasing OPEX

Whether employed directly or through a third party, security agents are often one of the main operational expenses (OPEX) for airports. In a world where safety requirements are rising and air traffic is growing, the number of employees needed to staff a security checkpoint is bound to increase.

The fifth article of our airport security series addresses the challenge of increasing OPEX and explores how airports can use technology to improve resource management and generate cost savings.

Adapting CONOPS

The type of equipment at a security checkpoint has a major impact on an airport’s screening operations and resource requirements. Whether traditional or automated, screening lanes require multiple agents to function efficiently.

When the screening process isn’t centralised, airport operators need to open more lanes to support peak times. This means that they need to use additional agents at each step of the screening process. However, when the traffic slows down, extra resources become superfluous and underused.

By using centralised image processing (CIP), more analysts can be easily added in the remote screening room to reach the desired throughput capacity, rather than fully staffing another lane. This increased flexibility makes more effective use of an airport’s resources and results in OPEX savings.

Integrating low traffic lanes

It is also possible for airports to centralise the screening operations of staff and crew lanes to further increase cost savings. This can be achieved by implementing a CIP solution with flexible integration capabilities such as Vanderlande’s remote screening software.

Traditionally located away from passenger checkpoints, staff and crew lanes require at least two agents per lane to be functional. As they typically receive low and irregular traffic volumes, this often proves to be inefficient in terms of resource management.

With Vanderlande’s solution, airports can proceed to the screening operations for these manual lanes remotely, saving agents from inactivity at the lane. As an example, one international airport using the software on four staff lanes was able to save €30,000 per month in the trial phase, before installing the software on six additional manual lanes of the same type.

Wide-reaching benefits

The same approach can be used to integrate airports that are connected to each other with a private and secure fibre network. For example, those that are part of the same operating group.

Vanderlande has already proven its capabilities in centralising screening operations through a wide area network (WAN). This allows airports to transfer images from one site to another and provides a significant advantage in terms of resource management. It is especially favourable for airports located in remote areas that are subject to seasonal peaks and high employee turnover.

Centralising screening operations can increase an airport’s efficiency, but checkpoints also comprise other technologies that must be integrated seamlessly. The next article of our series focuses on the importance of a holistic approach when redefining security operations and designing new checkpoints. Alternatively, you can further explore the world of checkpoint security in our previous blogs (part 1part 2part 3 and part 4).

Raúl Fernandez
Author
Raúl Fernandez
Product Manager
Raúl Fernandez
Co-author
Darren Durham
Product Manager

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