Air Travellers often face the hassle of unloading their electronic devices and personal items from their cabin bags and placing them in separate trays during security checks at airports. This process not only causes inconvenience and delays but also poses potential security risks. However, this may soon change as Bengaluru airport is set to become the first in India to eliminate the use of gadget trays and introduce a new CTX scan technology for security screening.
Limitations of Current Security Check System at Airports
Inconvenience of Gadgets-in-tray Method
The current security check system at airports requires passengers to remove their laptops, chargers, liquids, and other items from their cabin bags and place them in plastic trays for scanning. This method is cumbersome and time-consuming, as passengers have to wait in long queues, unpack and repack their bags, and collect their belongings after the scan. Moreover, this method also increases the risk of losing or damaging the items, as well as the possibility of theft or misplacement.
Potential Security Risks
The current 2D X-ray scanners used at airports are not very effective in detecting prohibited items and contraband that can be concealed in cabin bags or on the bodies of passengers. For instance, non-metallic objects such as explosives, inflammable liquids, gels, or plastics can easily escape the detection of these scanners. Furthermore, the manual pat-downs and strip searches that are conducted on some passengers can be invasive and humiliating, as well as prone to human errors and biases.
Bengaluru Airport’s Innovative Change
Eliminating the Use of Gadgets-in-tray
Bengaluru Airport, which is the third busiest airport in India, is poised to achieve a noteworthy milestone as the first airport in India to eliminate the need for passengers to place their electronic devices and personal items in trays during security screenings. The airport operator, Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), has ordered the installation of 3D computed tomography X-ray (CTX) machines for cabin bag checks by December 31, 2023. These machines will allow passengers to keep their belongings in their bags without having to unload them for scanning.
Implementation of New CTX Scan Technology
The CTX scan technology is an advanced and sophisticated system that uses 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to scan the contents of cabin bags and detect any prohibited items or contraband. The CTX machines are larger than the current 2D X-ray scanners and can scan multiple bags simultaneously. The CTX machines will be integrated with the existing automated tray retrieval system (ATRS) at the security checkpoints and will be operated by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel.
Benefits of New Security Measures
Improved Efficiency and Speed
The introduction of CTX machines will streamline the security check process and enhance the efficiency and speed of the operation. The CTX machines will reduce the need for plastic trays and manual intervention, thereby saving time and resources. The CTX machines will also reduce the congestion and crowding at the security checkpoints, as passengers will not have to wait in long queues or unpack and repack their bags. The CTX machines will also enable faster clearance of passengers, as the scan results will be displayed on a monitor and any suspicious items will be flagged for further inspection.
The CTX machines will also improve the security and safety of the passengers and the airport, as they will be able to detect and identify any prohibited items or contraband that can be hidden in cabin bags or on the bodies of passengers. The CTX machines will use 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to analyze the shape, size, density, and composition of the objects in the bags, and compare them with a database of known threats. The CTX machines will also be able to detect non-metallic objects such as explosives, inflammable liquids, gels, or plastics that can pose a serious threat to aviation security. The CTX machines will also reduce the need for manual pat-downs and strip searches, which can be invasive and humiliating for the passengers.
Enhanced Passenger Experience
The CTX machines will also enhance the passenger experience and satisfaction, as they will eliminate the hassle and inconvenience of unloading and loading their electronic devices and personal items from their bags. The CTX machines will also reduce the stress and anxiety of the passengers, as they will not have to worry about losing or damaging their belongings, or being subjected to invasive and humiliating searches. The CTX machines will also improve the hygiene and sanitation of the security checkpoints, as they will reduce the use of plastic trays and the contact between the passengers and the CISF personnel.
Implications of the Change
Challenges in Implementation
The implementation of CTX machines at Bengaluru airport will face some challenges and difficulties, as this technology is relatively new and unfamiliar in India. The airport operators will have to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the CTX machines in handling the baggage and the passenger flow and determine the optimal number and location of the machines. The airport operators will also have to train and sensitize the CISF personnel and the passengers on how to use and operate the CTX machines. The airport operators will also have to ensure the compatibility and integration of the CTX machines with the existing ATRS and the security infrastructure.
Potential Benefits for Passengers
The implementation of CTX machines at Bengaluru airport will have some potential benefits and advantages for the passengers, as they will be able to enjoy a faster, smoother, and hassle-free security check process. The passengers will also be able to travel with more confidence and peace of mind, as they will be assured of the security and safety of their belongings and themselves. The passengers will also be able to appreciate the innovation and modernization of the airport, as they will witness the use of cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence in security screening. The passengers will also be able to contribute to the environmental sustainability of the airport, as they will reduce the use of plastic trays and waste generation.