Perth Airport in Australia has embarked on a major upgrade to its passenger screening infrastructure across all terminals.
The new advanced security screening equipment is being introduced as part of the federal government mandate to further strengthen Australia’s domestic and international aviation security.
Kevin Brown, CEO, Perth Airport, said, “The new state of the art equipment has been designed to enhance airport security by improving the efficiency of the screening process and detection levels. The upgrades include new body scanners, walk through metal detectors, x-ray machines, explosive trace detection systems and secondary viewing stations with explosive trace detection (ETD).”
The body scanner has been a part of Australia’s international screening requirements for a several years and will be introduced into domestic travel screening lanes at Perth Airport, but with updated technology. The implementation of more sophisticated and faster body scanners at domestic screening points will require passengers to walk between two walls, pause, and stand straight in a relaxed pose. The scan will take less than a second.
“The body scanners can detect all foreign matter, both metal and non-metal, carried by a person to within a millimeter of the skin, and then pin-point it on an outline of the person’s body illustrated in the form of an avatar or ‘stickperson’,” explained Brown. “As was the case when the last round of security processes that were implemented in 2012, the new equipment and what will be required will take some passengers to adapt so we may see some delays at screening,” he said.
Another improvement will be the introduction of CT scanners for all international and domestic carry-on baggage, eliminating the need to remove computers and aerosols from bags for the screening process. The new CT-x-ray machine will use 3D technology to ease detection of suspect goods in passengers’ carry-on bags.
“Most travelers these days have a laptop or tablet device which they must remove from their luggage for screening,” said Brown. “Many travelers also carry aerosol cans such as shaving foam which must also be scanned separately. The new system will allow passengers to leave these items in their hand luggage, making for a more streamlined process and less hassle for passengers.
“The CT x-ray screening process differs from today due to all items needing to be broken down into the tray therefore dedicated goods screening lanes utilizing existing screening equipment will be provided as part of the project. Since Covid, Perth Airport had introduced an enhanced cleaning regime of its trays and a new automated tray return system will make the process quicker and reduce the customer’s contact with the trays during screening. In preparation for these upgrades, we had conducted a comprehensive trial of various equipment.
“We’ve worked hard to progress with the upgrades at T1 Domestic and International so they will be ready to go by the end of this month – just in time for borders re-opening in February. However, we will be closing areas of the current screening points at T2, T3 and T4 this year which may create congestion particularly around peak FIFO movement periods. We ask passengers to be patient and allow extra time for screening as we progress with this important security upgrades,” he said.