Airport Business

MAY 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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COVER STORY CT SCANNERS READY FOR MAJOR DEPLOYMENT The TSA tested computer tomography (CT) scanners at checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in 2017. American Airlines passengers at the airports took part in the test. Mark Laustra, vice president of global development and government relations for Analogic Corp., said the tests show the viability of the technology at airports and the Trump Administration is now asking for more than $70 million to purchase 145 of the machines to deploy across the nation. "When you look at the president's budget last year, there were only two CT scanners in the budget in 2019. Now we have $74 million to buy about 150," Laustra said. "That's about half of what the TSA asked for, but it's a huge increase from two." CT scanners provide a more detailed look inside baggage than traditional security checkpoint X-ray equipment. Laustra said it uses a complex algorithm to detect explosives, so passengers no longer need to take their electronics out of their baggage when in line, which in turn speeds up the screening process. CT scanners are used in the medical field, but Laustra said Analogic developed a product shortly after 9/11 for airports to scan checked baggage for explosives. The devices have been used in this capacity for years, but are finally scaled down and ready for deployment at security checkpoints. "We've seen a lot of traction in the last nine months and you're going to see a lot more deployments this year. More trials and more deployments," he said. "And you're going to see a much larger deployment in 2019. Laustra said Analogic did limited trials with a Cobra CT scanner in 2007 at airports across the world, but it wasn't well received at that time. "It was too large, too slow and it lacked the user interface and it was too expensive," he said. "We took those lessons and we developed a product we call Connect." Laustra said Connect is two-thirds the size of the Cobra machines. It's lighter, faster and utilizes a user interface similar to an iPad. Users can move the images around using just one finger and can zoom in by pinching the screen. Analogic is trialing Connect at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT). AMS has exponential passenger growth with nowhere to add additional checkpoints, so CT scanners are seen as a viable solution. NRT is faced with the same issues coupled with an anticipated crush of passengers when it hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics. Laustra said he was at NRT when the trail began. There was a learning curve the first day of operations, but by the second day of the trial, staff was processing passengers much faster. "Because of the user interface being like an iPad and most people have experienced some type of tablet PC like an iPad, they got it pretty quickly," he said. "There were no buttons to push. It was just a matter of using your finger to navigate around the screen and look underneath the bag for concealed threats." The scanners are machine-driven and go through a learning process as more baggage goes through the system, Laustra said, so it can learn more about nonthreatening materials. AUTOMATIC EXITS OFFER EFFICIENT FLOW OUT OF THE TERMINAL When leaders at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) in Mesa, Arizona found out the facility was going to see additional traffic coming in, they knew steps were necessary to keep on top of the passenger experience. Passenger numbers have grown in recent years, but J. Brian O'Neill, executive director/CEO of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority said Allegiant Airlines' decision to add eight new destinations to AZA and WestJet's move to expand its service meant more people will be flowing through the facility, so they needed to address how passengers move through security. "If we were going to continue to be that convenient regional airport, we needed to really focus on enhancing capacity where we felt there could be potential chokepoints in the system," O'Neill said. "We've done the roadway Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority AZA had to place staff at the exit for the secure side of the airport because it was separated from the TSA checkpoints. CHECK OUT VIDEO ONLINE: AUTOMATED EXIT LANE PHOENIX MESA GATEWAY AIRPORT See video of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport automated security exit and how it works at: CHECK OUT VIDEO ONLINE: HOW TO USE THE AUTOMATED SCREENING LANES AT SEA-TAC AIRPORT See how automatic security lines function at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: 30 airportbusiness May 2018

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