The University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) has tested a high-tech airport security system at Luxembourg Airport. The trial hopes to test the potential of an airport environment without random searches and lengthy queues.
A team of scientists, technicians and Luxembourg Airport staff worked together to test the intelligent end-to-end system, which analyzes a passenger’s on-site behavior, travel history and booking profile to classify them according to their ‘trustworthiness’. The system then funnels passengers into different risk-based levels of security screening. These are labeled ‘trusted’, ‘normal’ and ‘enhanced risk’. FLYSEC – an EU-funded consortium of 11 partners including the University of Luxembourg and Luxembourg Airport – spent three years developing the system.
For the trial, the team installed sensors throughout the airport to track 100 actors playing the role of passengers as they made their way from landside to boarding, enacting different scenarios.
Within the system, smart kiosks verify travel documents and use passenger name record data to identify unusual booking and travel profiles. Elsewhere, the system alerts staff to suspicious behavior within the airport using movement pattern analysis. A web platform brings all of this information together to provide holistic airport monitoring and scenario simulation, while mobile apps provide security staff with on-the-ground operational and incident support.
The FLYSEC team built their system on the principle of security as customer service – a departure from current methods, where increased security comes at the expense of passenger comfort. The team hopes the implementation of the system will mark the end for long queues and intrusive security measures that result in passenger dissatisfaction and escalating costs. It also offers a mobile application to guide passengers through check-in, security and boarding.
Aurel Machalek, SnT researcher, said, “Because the analysis is based on raw data and disregards things like skin color or religious symbols, our process is not only more efficient but also ethical by design. It’s a technical solution, because it brings a lot of new technology and data to airport security, but also a human one as it improves the experience for both passengers and staff.”
Daniel Conrardy, head of airport security at Luxembourg Airport, commented, “Being a small airport in one of the smallest countries in Europe, I am proud that Luxembourg Airport was chosen to participate in this challenging FLYSEC project. It was a great experience for myself and for my whole team.”