In 2018, the Società Esercizi Aeroportuali (SEA) Group responsible for managing Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airport embarked on a project to replace the existing passenger screening systems with the latest CT technology; and upgrade the hold baggage equipment to ECAC Standard 3. After two different competitive tenders, one for checked baggage and one for carry-on baggage, Smiths Detection was chosen for both in different years.
Despite, COVID-19 pushing the industry into a financial crisis, SEA Group chose to continue the project. This, in turn, had incredibly positive results as by 2022 Milan was ready and able to cope with the post-pandemic surge in passenger traffic despite the staffing shortages experienced throughout aviation at that time. The entire project across Linate and Malpensa airports was fully completed by February 2023.
The technical challenge for Smiths Detection was to replace conventional passenger checkpoint X-ray equipment with the latest ECAC EDS CB C3 approved CT scanning technology and integrate the new systems into a third-party automatic tray return. In addition, ECAC Standard 2 hold baggage screening equipment had to be upgraded to meet Standard 3 regulations.
Logistically, this meant deploying 40 systems during airport operating hours without impacting the flow of passengers and baggage. To avoid disruption, installation and commissioning had to be as fast as possible with new systems up and running without delay.
Therefore, installation was staggered with one or two systems working on at a time. Smiths Detection Field Service Engineers supported the start-up of new equipment and were on hand to provide continuous operator training and solve any early queries.
SEA Group goals were to achieve the highest levels of security, efficiency and productivity – plus a much smoother passenger experience. Following two separate tenders covering the hold baggage and checkpoint projects, Smiths Detection was awarded both contracts.
Leveraging the best in CT screening technology, Smiths Detection installed 25 HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX advanced hand baggage screening solutions; and 15 HI-SCAN 10080 XCT next generation hold baggage explosives detection systems.
The HI SCAN 6040 CTiX scanner transforms the passenger checkpoint by eliminating the need to remove electronic devices, liquids and gels from hand luggage. This expedites screening and creates a less stressful process for passengers. Comprehensive 3D images support operators in making accurate judgements on bag contents. It has ECAC EDS CB C3 approval and TSA APSS 6.2 Level 1 certification.
Designed to detect higher levels of threats, whilst lowering false alarm rates, the HI-SCAN 10080 XCT also boosts productivity. It is ECAC EDS Standard 3.0 and 3.1 approved; TSA certified for high-speed checked baggage screening; and also has TSA ACSTL certification.
The introduction of CT technology at the checkpoint has taken security and efficiency to the next level. Waiting times for passengers have been halved; throughput increased by up to 100%; and overall, travellers enjoy a much better experience. Screening is automatically faster and more effective, reducing the need for high staffing levels. Operators can be redeployed in higher value tasks.
In the hold, security has been elevated; the new screening process is much faster and higher throughput speeds mean fewer scanning systems are required; and, due to a lower false alarm rate, fewer images need checking by operators.
The latest standards and regulations have been met and in the case of Standard 3.1. exceeded.