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Airports Around the World Introduce Innovations for the New Year

by Mary Melnick

Dec 19, 2023

PHOTO: © JIM LAMBERT | DREAMSTIME.COM

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With technology constantly evolving, airports all over the world strive to implement the latest options available to make travel a seamless experience for passengers.

Starting in June 2024, all airports in the United Kingdom will begin implementing a new security system to ease restrictions and reduce time spent going through security. The new system will allow travelers to carry larger liquid containers in cabin bags and keep them, along with large electronic devices, inside luggage during the security process.

Ireland’s Shannon Airport did away with the 3-ounce (100ml) liquid rule last year after investing in four new scanners. The new technology delivers a scan instantly and eliminates the need for full-body hand searches, allowing the airport to process 550 passengers per hour through security, doubling capacity.

Christopher Snelling, policy director, The Airport Operators Association, said, “This investment in next-generation security by the U.K.’s airport operators will provide a great step forward for U.K. air travel, matching the best in class around the world. It will make the journey through the U.K.’s airports easier and air travel itself more pleasant.”

In North America, Delta Air Lines is working on a digital ID system that allows travelers to go through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Detroit Metro Airport without showing a physical form of identification. Partnered with the Transportation Security Administration, this digital ID uses facial recognition at bag drop, security and departure.

Delta Digital ID users must enroll in TSA PreCheck, belong to Delta’s SkyMiles frequent-flyer program and save their valid U.S. passport and Known Traveler Number on their Delta profiles. The digital ID comes from travelers’ passport photos that PreCheck members have agreed to let the airline and TSA use for face matching at bag drop and security. Next year the technology will expand to international flights from ATL as well as to New York LaGuardia, Los Angeles LAX and New York JFK. Jason Lim, TSA identity management capabilities manager, claims the program will increase security by using government photos and will likely cut ID check time drastically. Lim is currently working with other U.S. airlines to expand the program.

Faleolo International Airport, Samoa’s largest, is set to install three new Hi-Scan 6040-2is to X-ray carry-on luggage, one CTX 5800 CT X-ray machine for checked luggage, and one 100100T-2is X-ray machine for large cargo. The upgrade was awarded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to help promote tourism and safe travel to and from the Pacific Island nation.

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