Urban Security ,
Taking security on board
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Urban Security ,
Taking security on board
Download Print Version
Costa Group deploys Smiths Detection technology for passenger and crew screening

Cruise ship passengers are an increasingly discerning group of people who expect a smooth, fast and secure embarkation. The security challenge is that every single person, including crew members, and their belongings must pass through screening before each boarding. Working with leading cruise company Costa Group, Smiths Detection has provided state-of-the-art, aviation level detection technology to reduce the false alarm rate, streamline the procedure and keep everything moving quickly and smoothly.

Smiths Detection is a long-term, reliable partner, continuing to provide excellent quality equipment and innovative technology
— Hendrik Malmström, Director Security Costa Group

Providing guests with the opportunity to be both relaxed and entertained is the primary focus of Costa Group, the leading cruise company in Europe and Asia. And safety is an essential part of maintaining this high quality experience.

The company needs a very effective security screening process able to handle up to 6,600 passengers and their hand baggage quickly and with minimal disruption. Although screening often takes place on the ships, sometimes space limitations mean it has to be transferred to the shore cruise terminal – so flexibility is also a key requirement, along with a space saving layout.

Costa Group operates 28 ships across its three brands – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises and Costa Asia – with a total of 85,000 berths. Five new vessels are due to be added to the fleet by 2023. The company operates globally and its ships call at more than 350 destinations in over 100 countries.


Smiths Detection has been supplying screening equipment to Costa Group for 20 years and has around 140 installations across the whole fleet – including the LNG-powered AIDAnova which was launched in December 2018.

To meet the demands of the Group and its passengers, a typical airport style checkpoint set-up is used, featuring double security lines which incorporate X-ray scanners, metal detectors and trace detectors for narcotics and explosives. Cabin luggage – while frequently screened ashore at the cruise terminal – can be checked on board each vessel using a HI-SCAN 5180si, before being delivered to the cabins.

For example, screening equipment on board AIDAnova includes the HI-SCAN 6040-2is, an advanced dual-view X-ray system that automatically detects solid and liquid explosives in personal belongings. This system has ECAC EDS CB C1 approval for screening air-cabin baggage and meets EU (LEDS) legislation for liquid-explosives detection Standards 2 and 3, Type C.

This advanced technology supports the operator in identifying prohibited articles and the aviation level certifications underline the high standards of detection.

The HI-SCAN 6040-2is not only generates reliable, high quality, dual-view images, it also has a compact footprint, making it particularly suitable for locations with space constraints.

In addition, Smiths Detection supplies the Costa Group with its latest scanners (e.g. 6046si, 5180si) and detectors (e.g. IONSCAN 600), which are deployed on board according to the available space and the vessel’s area of operation and all offer an exceptional level of screening. The Smiths Detection team also advises on operational and storage space during planning and the company’s local certified service engineers are made available to all Group vessels around the world.


Cruise checkpoint security needs to meet the highest standards – providing aviation level screening exceeds cruise passenger expectations, delivers a better experience and results in an operationally efficient and effective process. Since Costa Group solely uses Smiths Detection equipment onboard, reliability has significantly increased, resulting, for example, in a reduction in the overall repair and maintenance schedule.

Hendrik Malmström, Director Security commented, “Smiths Detection is a long-term, reliable partner, continuing to provide excellent quality equipment and innovative technology.”