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Lift-off for Kromek.

Byline: KAREN McLAUCHLAN

TECHNOLOGY firm Kromek has been given the EU green light for its pioneering product which will help end the ban on passengers taking liquids on to planes.

The Sedgfield company has spent years developing its colour X-ray liquid detection systems -and has now received official European certification to provide the product to all European airports.

Kromek is one of just three companies to receive official certification.

Chief executive Arnab Basu described the EU approval as "very good news" with the company looking forward to a "prosperous future" as airports begin to formtheir procurement strategies for acquiring new technology.

Krokek, which was spun out of the physics department at Durham University and is now based at NETPark, employs 55 -but is currently looking to recruit around 10 additional staff.

By April 2011, liquid items like duty free purchases will be allowed on board aircraft, providing the appropriate security measures, such as screening, are in place at the airports concerned.

By April 2013, the ban will be lifted completely, allowing the carriage of liquids on flights across Europe.

Kromek's Bottle Scanner has been successfully tested, verified and authorised by ECAC -European Civil Aviation Conference -and is now available for EU airports to buy and implement.

"It's a significant milestone for Kromek as the approved listing is vindication that colour X-ray detection has been proven," added Mr Basu "The next generation of X-ray technology has arrived, with a market-ready machine that can detect liquid threats."

"To be named by EU regulators as an authorised provider of a revolutionary solution to one of the greatest threats to civil aviation currently is a major moment in Kromek's history.

"The threat from Liquid, Aerosol and Gel (LAG) based explosives became apparent in August 2006 following discovery of a plot to use such devices aboard multiple transatlantic flights.

"Although Kromek had not set out to produce such equipment we were quick to realise with our capabilities we had the versatility to produce a solution."

He added: "The next year and beyond is extremely exciting for us. Kromek will continue to see strong growth as our solutions capture the imagination. Our groundbreaking technology not only provides products to the airline security market but has the opportunity for development into a range of products for many highly lucrative markets such as medical and industrial fields, where we are already beginning to get commercial traction".

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CERTIFICATION: Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu with the scanner Picture by IAN McINTYRE
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 26, 2010
Words:413
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