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FROM TEST TO TENDER: AFTER A LENGTHY TRIAL PERIOD, HEATHROW AIRPORT HAS ISSUED A TENDER FOR CT X-RAY MACHINES.

Heathrow Airport began a long-term trial of 3D computed tomography (CT) cabin baggage X-ray screening machines in 2017. Two years on, it has moved from the testing stage to tendering and has issued a press release stating that it will roll-out the state-of-the-art equipment across the airport over the next few years. It aims to complete the process by 2022.

The airport expects that when fully deployed, the 3D equipment could end the need for passengers to remove their liquids and laptops from cabin baggage when passing through security although, so far, this cannot be guaranteed.

Even when the technology is more widely available there may still be instances where security staff are required to carry out additional screening.

Nevertheless, the airport believes the technology will still have the potential to cut the amount of time required for security screening as the CT images will be of much higher quality--and delivered faster--thereby easing the workload of screening staff. There is also a potential environmental benefit too-something that is particularly topical at the moment-because using these machines should significantly reduce the amount of plastic being used at the airport if passengers are no longer required to put their liquids into plastic bags before passing through the screening area. Of course the downside is the acquisition costs--these machines are far more expensive than their predecessors. The Heathrow deployment, a UK first, is valued at more than [pounds sterling]50million and will be supported by the Department for Transport. The two organisations are already working together to help other UK airports begin their own trials in the coming months.

Commenting on the forthcoming CT equipment, Heathrow's chief operations officer, Chris Garton, said: "Heathrow has a proud history of investing in making every journey better and that's why we're delighted to be rolling out our new CT equipment. This cutting-edge kit will not only keep the airport safe with the latest technology, but will mean that our future passengers can keep their focus on getting on with their journeys and less time preparing for security screening." Aviation Minster, Baroness Vere, whose visit to the airport preceded the announcement said: "Passenger safety remains our top priority and this programme clearly shows the huge importance we place on security.

"This innovative new equipment will ensure Heathrow continues to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for passengers, as we look to roll out this new screening technology at airports across the country."

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Title Annotation:SECURITY SCREENING EQUIPMENT
Publication:Airports International
Date:Jul 1, 2019
Words:406
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