'Win-win' as Shannon Airport tests out new security

TRAVEL: AIRPORT TESTS SCREENING SYSTEM THAT COULD 'HALVE WAITING TIMES'

'Win-win' as Shannon Airport tests out new security

Niall Maloney, Shannon Airport, John Francis, chief security officer at Shannon and Dr Mike Kemp of ICONAL Technology testing the security system at the airport Picture: Arthur Ellis

A NEW security system that could halve waiting times in airport queues is being tested at Shannon.

The airport is testing the new checkpoint concept and is the first in the world to do so as part of the EU-funded XP-DITE project.

The new approach combines European and US pre-clearance checkpoints, replacing them with one system and the aim is that the trial will demonstrate that the system can be designed to comply with two different sets of regulations – the EU and the US TSA systems.

The combined checkpoint is the first of its kind in the world and has been designed to improve customer experience.

Passengers flying to the US will no longer have to queue up twice for separate security checks. It will run at Shannon for a ten week period.

“Shannon Airport is delighted to have been selected to trial this new state-of-the-art technology,” said Niall Maloney, airport operations director.

“Passenger security is of paramount importance to us and being able to trial a new system that combines the highest level of security screening together with a customer focused operation is a win-win.

“The elimination of the additional security measures in the U.S. pre-clearance facility in particular is a significant advancement in improving both our passengers and customer airlines experience.

“We have literally just started trialling the new checkpoint and already we are getting positive feedback from our airport customers availing of the pre-clearance by the removal of a checkpoint. 

“We are delighted to have been chosen to be part of the XP–DITE project team and would like to thank the Department of Tourism and the US Transportation Security Administration for their support in putting in place these enhanced arrangements,” said Mr Maloney

Project co-ordinator Mark van den Brink said the programme could develop “new approaches to airport security which could maintain a high level of security while improving the experience for passengers and reducing costs for operators”.

The project is a collaboration between research organisations, universities, security companies and airports across Europe.