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Perth Airport Embarks on Significant Security Upgrade Program

Australia’s Perth Airport has embarked on a significant upgrade to its passenger screening infrastructure across all terminals. The new advanced security screening equipment is being introduced as part of the Australian government’s mandate to further strengthen the country’s domestic and international aviation security.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown 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, and x-ray machine, explosive trace detection (ETD) systems and secondary viewing stations with ETD,” said Brown. “The body scanner has been a part of the international screening requirements for a number of years and will be introduced into domestic travel screening lanes, but with updated technology. The implementation of these more sophisticated, 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’.”

Brown said there may be some delays at screening as passengers adapt to the new processes.

Another major 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. Many travelers also carry aerosol cans such as shaving foam which must also be scanned separately,” Brown said. “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.”

Brown added that the CT x-ray screening process differs from the current arrangement “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”.

As part of its pandemic response, Perth Airport has already 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 the security upgrades, the airport 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,” Brown said. “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 movement periods. We ask passengers to be patient and allow extra time for screening as we progress with these important security upgrades.”

Read more at Perth Airport

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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