Air travel remains one of the most popular modes of transport for the rapid, cost-effective movement of people, cargo and vital assets. This popularity has resulted in growth in passenger/cargo numbers, increasing demands on airport operators to provide higher levels of protection.
Writing in Professional Security Magazine, Chris Edwards, Account Development Manager for Siemens Building Technologies suggests “…as airports evolve into mini ‘cities’, operational teams require intelligent and integrated tools to manage and process more passengers and cargo as well as administer a business environment that has grown in complexity."
London Gatwick Airport and the low-cost airline EasyJet launched a test phase linking biometrics to the automatic baggage drop to that of automatic gates, to speed up the course while reducing risks of human error.
Presented by London Gatwick Airport as a first in the UK, the end-to-end biometrics test is conducted with its first partner, a British specialist in low cost flights, and aims to reduce to less than 20 seconds the identification of each passenger, his face, his passport and his boarding pass at the passage of the automatic doors.
The performance of the new technology will be studied for at least three months, on nearly 10,000 EasyJet passengers on its 43 routes; Gatwick says those who wish to participate in the test but travel without luggage (and therefore do not need to use the self-service baggage drop-off) will have their data "recovered" at the automatic boarding gate.
The length of the tests should allow the airport to gather sufficient significant information to be able to "…identify trends and adapt technology to ensure an optimal passenger experience". Gatwick states in its release that it will "look at the duration of each interaction, what it means for wait times, how it simplifies passenger travel, how passengers interact with technology, and how intuitive the process is.
Of course, security and protection are integral parts of the planning cycle, and each new development or change in operations/procedures requires security be taken into account.
At HFR Solutions CIC, we specialise in emergency response planning, and can assist in the implementation emergency response procedures and incident/crisis management.