An interview with Smiths Detection’s Cameron Mann, Global Market Director, and Kevin Riordan, Head of Airports & Checkpoint Solutions. By Marta Dimitrova
The first priority of all airports is ensuring the most effective security measures are in place to protect travellers and staff. Europe’s airports are proactive in collaborating closely with technology providers early in their development processes to understand requirements and constraints, and build this into the design.
Smiths Detection, for example, works directly with a wide range of airports to support technology trials. These long-term collaborative relationships help airports to develop technical solutions for their operational challenges. The company also engages intensively with the industry through regional and global trade bodies, including ACI EUROPE.
“Well-designed checkpoints, staffed by well-trained and motivated teams, rapidly reduce queues; this ensures a good passenger experience,” says Kevin Riordan, Head of Airports & Checkpoint Solutions, Smiths Detection. “Operational improvements also boost staff productivity, reducing the screening cost per passenger head. Happy passengers bring a wealth of benefits to airport operators: a 1% rise in customer service levels delivers a 1.5% boost to airport revenue; greater than a 1% rise in passenger volume (a 0.7-1% increase).”
Morpho Detection became part of Smiths Detection in April, bolstering Smiths Detection’s R&D presence and customer support package. “We now have the combined expertise of two market leaders, ready to deliver the best service and security solutions to our customers and partners,” explains Cameron Mann, Global Market Director, Smiths Detection.
Customers include Bristol Airport, where Smiths Detection worked closely with a wide range of partners on the £24 million (€28m) West Terminal extension. Meanwhile, in 2016, the company was awarded contracts worth almost £19 million (€22m) by Falcon Group to provide advanced detection systems for passenger checkpoint, hold baggage and cargo screening to airports across Egypt.
Smiths Detection takes a comprehensively global approach. “We continue to see increasing growth in passenger numbers globally and, although this does vary by region, the requirements for compliant and efficient security solutions are common,” says Mann.
The company is increasingly engaged in China and Africa, which are rapidly expanding their infrastructure, but have unique requirements. It has, for example, implemented the IONSCAN 600 in Singapore and the Smart Security checkpoint in Japan. “Interest in the benefits of smart security in Asia is increasing, as is concern about the need for compliance with current and likely regulatory EU and US requirements,” Mann adds. “Smiths Detection is able to advise on both requirements and technical solutions to meet them; we’re working closely with clients in Asia to support them on their journey.”
Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 6040aTiX X-ray system recently became the industry’s first solution to be awarded European Explosive Detections Systems (EDS) certification CB C1, for its automated explosive detection capability. “With regard to broader uptake of this technology, we see its deployment as inevitable; whether as a result of compliance with new regulations or the decision to seek operational benefit,” Riordan comments.
Meanwhile, HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX will be the first security system from Smiths Detection to use CT technology for the passenger checkpoint and will be launched in October.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to add value to our solutions for customers, through technology and expertise that helps airports meet their operational and security challenges. And continue our class-leading R&D, ensuring that we are always ahead of the security curve,” Mann concludes.