Smiths Detection wins first major airports contract for its new IONSCAN 600 explosives trace detector

Smiths Detection has been awarded a contract by the Spanish Airport Operator (Aena) to equip 24 of its airports with the new IONSCAN 600 explosives trace detector for passenger screening.

Almost 300 of the recently launched systems, manufactured by Smiths Detection`s Watford, UK, facility, will be supplied through its Spanish distributor TECOSA. It is the first major aviation contract for the advanced, portable system which detects and identifies explosives from traces found on baggage or clothing.

The IONSCAN 600 will add an additional layer of security to existing X-ray scanners at security checkpoints. It was chosen for its high performance, ease of operation and low cost of ownership to enhance the screening of the half million passengers who pass through Spain’s airports every day.

Tony Tielen, Regional Vice President – EMEA, at Smiths Detection said: “The Aena contract is a significant milestone for our latest explosives trace detector. The IONSCAN system has played a leading role in enhancing aviation security over the last 15 years, with nearly 25,000 of the previous versions installed world-wide. With IONSCAN 600 now approved by important regulatory bodies such as ECAC, we expect this success story to continue.”

The technology behind the IONSCAN 600 includes a breakthrough feature with a proprietary non-radioactive Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) source which eliminates the need for special licensing, handling or disposal requirements. This significantly reduces the administrative and compliance burden for customers.

IONSCAN 600 weighs just 23 pounds (10.4 kg), is highly portable and is equipped with hot-swappable battery to provide continued sampling and analysis capability when disconnected from the mains power. Low cost, single-use test swabs help reduce operator costs.

Approval by ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) Management Group, earlier this year, means that IONSCAN 600 meets the rigorous EU Standard for both passenger and cargo checkpoint screening. ECAC ruled that the ionscan 600 meets the ETD (Explosives Trace Detection) EU standard, the first UK-built detector to pass the rigorous testing protocol.

Smiths Detection offers advanced security solutions in civil and military markets worldwide, developing and manufacturing government-regulated technology products that help detect and identify explosives, chemical and biological agents, radiological and nuclear threats, weapons, narcotics and contraband. It is part of Smiths Group, a global leader in applying integrated, advanced technologies to markets in threat and contraband detection, energy, medical devices, communications and engineered components. Smiths Group employs around 23,000 people in more than 50 countries.