Security and safety in airports are important matters for protection against terrorist acts. That is the reason why passengers and baggage screenings have been improved over the years.
Now a day, hold baggage shall be systematically and carefully checked and inspected before being loaded on board. The most advanced machines can automatically detect the presence of explosives. These are EDS (Explosive Detection System) or tomographs. They can detect suspicious baggage and alert controller who with human intelligence can then requalify or not pointed out baggage after controlling of images by highly trained personal.
European regulations stipulates that all screening Machines installed should be equipped with the most modern technology called the standard 3, by the 1st September 2020. However, time extensions has been granted following the COVID crisis. This broke abruptly airport revenues worldwide.
Standard 3 is the level of regulation that has recently come into force and is gradually becoming mandatory for all airports processing more than 200 000 passengers per year. This change in the regulation requires of significant changes in the management of baggage flows in most of the airports. Depending on the volume of baggage to be processed and requalification delay, baggage flow will be designed according to flowspeed and available place.
The control of standard 3 is based, for example, on 5 levels of detection:
- Level 0: baggage is not yet checked.
- Level 1: baggage is checked and considered qualified by the EDS at the exit of the machine
- Level 2: baggage is checked but considered suspicious or not yet qualified. In this case, the security controller is called and has 30 to 60 seconds to requalify the baggage according to his analysis of the images. They transmitted by the EDS machine. In some cases, the controller requires more time than expected. So, baggage is put on hold in a specific line for handling doubtful baggage.
- Level 3: baggage is re-checked and considered qualified. It is then reintroduced to the main baggage flow.
- Level 4: re-checked baggage considered as suspicious; the controller or his supervisor has an additional 60 to 75 seconds to carry out further analysis and possibly re-qualify it. If disqualified or not yet requalified, baggage is declared suspicious and will be sent to a reconciliation room for a manual search, if possible in the presence of the passenger.
More information can be found in the video below: