SECURITY IN AIRPORTS: your baggage during inspection
The technology and robustness of the screening systems through which thousands of pieces of baggage pass around the world provide increased security at airports and for passengers.
Airports Council International (ACI World) has published its quarterly assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on airport security worldwide. According to the study, improving immunisation rates worldwide have renewed optimism in the industry, especially in Europe and the Americas. Primarily, global passenger traffic is expected to improve significantly by the end of the year, reaching 77% of the 2019 result, with a total of 7.1 billion passengers expected by 31 December.
The result is the best in two years and reflects the possibility of a full resumption in 2023. Already in Brazil, a survey by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) shows that passenger movements at airports increased by 75.2% in the first half of 2022, compared to the same period last year.
Above all: with the large influx of passengers, several airports are modernising their facilities to make the travel experience as positive as possible. This is both for the smooth flow of people and for the integrity of baggage, as well as for security at the airports and at the various stages of screening.
After all, is baggage screening only done with X-rays?
Baggage screening is undoubtedly one of the most important procedures within an airport when it comes to airport security. It is an effective way to mitigate risks, as it thoroughly checks the contents of the user's property as it enters the departure area.
For this meticulous process, strict legislation has been developed and inspection systems have been proposed at different levels, all of which are regulated by government agencies, with x-rays being only one of the stages. The biggest challenge is to ensure speed without compromising the efficiency of the flow.
Mandatorily, 100% of the baggage is inspected on up to four levels, with the support of systems, also known as inspection methods, manufactured by specialised companies.
At ULMA Handling Systems, our Baggage Handling business unit has a team of specialists who work continuously on the development of projects, equipment and the implementation of integrations for baggage handling. This equipment makes up security solutions such as baggage conveying systems and explosion detection machines.
Let's imagine a flow through the inspection systems to understand the path of your baggage: in a standard 3 security system (these standards are in line with international legislation), the volume first passes through a gauging control, carried out by a photocell installed on a conveyor belt, which stops the baggage on the belt if it is in disagreement.
At inspection level 1, your bag goes through the explosives detection inspection within a pre-set time and then automatically continues to the carousel, through the conveyor that receives the volume at the "Decision Point", if everything is OK. If there is anything suspicious, inspection level 2 is the next checkpoint: an image of the case is presented to the operator, who makes the decision on the security level, or passes it to a second operator for assessment. And if it still fails, it goes into recirculation.
If the facility is equipped with scanners that read the ATR identification tags on the baggage, the "Decision Point" stage is where lost baggage that could not be identified in the previous stages will circulate. Bags that cannot be recirculated and do not proceed to the carousel go to screening level 3.
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