By offering an expanding selection of international routes and a regional gateway to the world, Aalborg Airport is attracting more passengers each year. With growing numbers but limited space, how could the security checkpoint handle a greater throughput and keep the process moving smoothly, effectively and very safely?
When considering security strategy, Aalborg looks not only at complying with the latest regulations and delivering the highest security levels, but also how it impacts passenger experience. Upgrading to EDS CB C2 approved equipment perfectly complemented this strategy – and Aalborg became the first airport in Denmark to leverage this new technology.
The mission at Aalborg Airport is to seize each day and make it better than the one before! A high level of personal service is paramount and the airport is constantly working to ensure that passengers receive a positive impression when visiting, or travelling via, Aalborg.
Søren Bjerg, Security Chief, Aalborg Airport commented, “When introducing something new, we first confirm whether it will make life easier for our passengers – if not, we find a different solution. Our customers value the free parking; great customer service; well-functioning, stress-free check-in and security flow; and excellent in-house facilities. Our changes to the checkpoints had to meet these demanding standards.”
Logistically, introducing the new technology was very straightforward – previously installed HI-SCAN 6040aTiX scanners were upgraded on-site to EDS CB C2 standards using the approved Smiths Detection EDS Cabin Baggage software package. This protects investment in existing equipment and makes compliance a simple and cost effective process with minimum disruption to operations.
The new standard means passengers can leave electronics – laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cameras – in their hand luggage for scanning. This reduces passenger preparation time and the number of trays which, in turn, creates a faster, simpler and more efficient screening process. “We no longer need random trace detector searches, which is a major improvement for both passengers and operators,” added Søren Bjerg. “And we have achieved the ultimate aim of significantly increasing throughput.”
Previously, operators had to stop screening, ask people to remove large electronic devices from their bags, then rescreen the bag itself and also the device. This time consuming process has now been eliminated and tray usage has been reduced by at least 30%. Initially, throughput slowed slightly as operators became accustomed to looking at the more complex images, but they adapted very quickly and returned to previous evaluation levels. Very little additional training was required.
The C2 upgrade did bring an increase in the alarm rate but this was more than compensated for by faster passenger divestment and a more streamlined overall process. Alarms are easily dealt with using on-screen evaluation, followed by a manual, secondary check if the operator is still concerned. Otherwise, the bag is simply accepted – a manual check is not required for every alarm.
To ensure the best possible service for both passengers and operating airlines, Aalborg Airport will continue to develop, expand and advance, introducing everything from additional parking and a new maintenance hangar to innovative technology. The checkpoint project is a significant component in the plan to secure future overall growth.
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