New screening technologies on trial at Changi Airport

New screening technologies on trial at Changi Airport

The trials are at two boarding gates at Terminal 3 could help to reduce waiting times for passengers, Changi Airport Group says.

Changi Airport Terminal 3. (File photo: Francine Lim)

SINGAPORE: To improve efficiency and processes at screening checkpoints, Changi Airport Group (CAG) on Friday (Apr 22) announced that it is conducting trials at two boarding gates at Terminal 3 until June.

According to CAG, the trials on new security screening technologies could help to reduce waiting times for passengers. Instead of removing electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from hand-carry luggage during screening time, passengers will now be allowed to keep these devices in their luggage with the help of the new computed tomography (CT) security screening equipment.

CAG said is testing a body scanner machine that uses millimetre wave technology to detect both metallic and non-metallic items. Currently, passengers are screened using walk-through metal detectors.

With the millimetre wave technology, CAG said data will be analysed by a computer algorithm as passengers walk into the body scanner. If a concealed item is detected, a non-invasive outline image indicating the item’s location will be generated automatically, it said.

This allows the security officer to zoom in on the identified area to check any suspicious items. A green screen with an “OK” appears when nothing is detected.

Addressing health and safety concerns, CAG said the amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by millimetre wave security scanners is much smaller than that emitted by a mobile phone. It also utilises a very low-power non-ionising form of electromagnetic technology, CAG added.

A new automatic tray return system is also being tested out, CAG said. Trays will be presented to two passengers simultaneously at the screening belt, enabling both to deposit their bags at the same time.

The trays are automatically returned to the line after each screening cycle is completed, removing the need for security screening officers to manually transfer the trays to the start of the belt.

CAG added that there will be a separate channel for bags which require further checks. These will be automatically routed for follow-up by security officers, it said.

Mr Alan Tan, CAG’s vice president of Aviation Security, said: “The data and passenger feedback we collect from the trials will help us assess the effectiveness and operational efficiencies of these new systems, before we ascertain their suitability for implementation at the airport.”

Source: CNA/xk