The briefing on airport security screening

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

The briefing on connected aviation

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

News in numbers


In 2017, the average queuing time for security screening at UK airports was 7.4 minutes (this dropped to 3.6 minutes at Gatwick Airport)

193 million

The number of passengers at the UK’s five largest airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted and Luton – in 2017


The majority of passengers strongly agreed or agreed that an inconvenience caused by security screening was acceptable


The majority of passengers at these airports were very satisfied or satisfied with their experiences of security screening

1 in 4

Heathrow Airport accounted for just over a quarter (27%) of all terminal passengers in 2017


Queuing was cited by 5% as the aspect of security screening with which passengers were least satisfied

In quotes

Spokesperson for the Department for Transport:

The UK has some of the strictest security measures in the world, and we are leading the way in using new technology to improve security screening and provide a better experience for passengers.

Justin Lowe, digital trust and cyber security expert at PA Consulting:

The IT departments in airports tend to focus on IT systems, not necessarily on some of the operational technology… The challenge for [them] is really to be able to manage the security of a much wider network.

David Pekoske, US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) administrator:

TSA is committed in getting the best technology to enhance security and improve the screening experience. Use of CT technology substantially improves TSA’s threat detection capability at the checkpoints.

Top stories

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is facing criticism for secretly tracking Americans on flights. The ‘Quiet Skies’ programme reportedly uses an unknown algorithm to flag air passengers without a criminal record for surveillance on domestic flights.

Source: BBC

Heathrow Airport is to trial a new scanning technology that could help prevent passengers from having to remove liquids from their hand luggage during airport security checks. The London airport will install 3D X-rays in scanning machines to allow security staff to check liquid items from inside bags.

Source: Airport Technology

A recent security breach at Munich Airport could cost more than $1.2m, after passengers suffered from two days of flight cancellations and long delays as a result of a security scare that forced the evacuation of Terminal 2. About 330 flights were cancelled and over 32,000 passengers were left stranded after a woman failed to pass through airport security.

Source: DW

Passengers travelling through JFK Airport in the US will soon have the contents of their luggage examined through a CT scanner, after American Airlines donated eight of the machines to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). By opting for a CT scanner over a traditional X-ray machine, TSA agents will be able to see contents more clearly and rotate images of luggage 360 degrees.

Source: Engadget

Canada’s Edmonton International Airport is set to introduce an autonomous vehicle to guard its perimeter. The all-terrain vehicle will patrol the airport’s perimeter unarmed, and can either be remotely controlled by humans or is able to operate autonomously. The vehicle features navigation, obstacle avoidance, animal and human recognition, path planning, and communication systems.

Source: Airport Technology

McAfee researchers have discovered that hackers are able to buy their way into the security and building automation system of a major international airport for just $10. Though the firm did not identify the airport in question, the discovery prompts questions about the ease with which would-be hackers can gain access to airport IT systems.

Source: International Airport Review




Emirates to introduce service between Auckland and Bali

Dubai-based airline Emirates is planning to launch a new daily service from Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand, through the island of Bali in Indonesia.

Starting from June 2018, the new service complements Emirates’ existing non-stop daily service between Dubai and Auckland and its daily A380 service between Dubai and Christchurch through Sydney. Emirates will offer a total of three daily services to New Zealand to global travellers.

The airline’s two existing daily services are currently operated by a Boeing 777 300-ER in a two-class configuration.

Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark said: “We are confident that our year-round service between Auckland and Bali will be well-received by our customers, not only in New Zealand and Indonesia, but also from our global network particularly from markets like the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.”

The new service is expected to provide better connections for London and other major European cities.

Welcoming Emirates’ announcement, Auckland Airport aeronautical commercial general manager Scott Tasker said that the new service will add more than 250,000 seats to the route.

Tasker added: “Bali continues to grow as a popular holiday destination for Kiwis, who can now fly there non-stop, year-round. Additionally, this new service provides an option for European travellers to stopover in Bali when flying to and from New Zealand.”

The new service is also set to provide 20t of cargo capacity between New Zealand, Bali and Dubai.

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