Hamad International Airport (HIA) is the State of Qatar’s sole international airport and recognized as one of the world’s best¹. The airport recorded its highest passenger traffic to date in 20192
In 2019, HIA ran a trial of the new ECAC EDS CB C2 approved technology. The success of the trial gave HIA the confidence to implement the upgrades across all transfer screening checkpoints. Working with Smiths Detection, the process took only four days, with minimal impact on ongoing operations at the airport.
In total, 52 previously installed HI-SCAN 7555aTiX X-ray explosives detectors at transfer security screening were upgraded to C2 detection standard. Through the upgrades, the scanners were equipped with an advanced algorithm that could easily detect explosive materials held in complex structures and congested bags.
Another advantage brought about by the upgrade is that passengers can now keep electronic devices – such as laptops, digital cameras and tablets – in their hand luggage. Security officers have less need to handle passenger items and trays during divestment, reducing the need for contact with trays or belongings for both airport employees and passengers.
The introduction of C2 technology at HIA airport has led to a faster, smoother and tighter security screening process. The powerful advanced algorithm accurately and efficiently detects threat materials in carry-on bags, reducing the need for secondary rechecks and physical inspections. With passengers now being able to leave electronics in their luggage, up to seven seconds could be saved on divestment time per person in average, also shortening repacking, adding to a faster flow of operations at the security checkpoints.
These benefits of C2 technology also translate to elevated hygiene standards and a strengthened response to the COVID-19 threat. The increased accuracy and performance of threat detection means that security officers at HIA will have less need to handle passenger items and divestment trays, thus limiting touch points and human contact, ultimately curbing the potential of cross-contamination.
Social distancing guidelines also aim to limit physical distances between individuals and the amount of time spent in close proximity to others. Smoother flow and reduced crowding allow greater adherence to these guidelines so passengers can move quickly and safely through the checkpoints.
¹ World Airport Awards, World’s Top 10 Airports 2020
² Hamad International Airport, Qatar’s Gateway achieved 12.44% increase in passenger numbers in 2019 compared to previous year