In an Australian first, Newcastle Airport has just completed a trial of a high-speed full body scanner that helps passengers clear the security screening point faster. The Quick Personnel Security Scanner completes a scan in a matter of seconds, automatically detecting potentially dangerous items.
The trial of the new scanning technology, which is already in place across the UK and Europe, was welcomed by CEO, Dr Peter Cock.
“With peak passenger numbers expected through the airport this summer period, the new machine could not have come at a better time,” Peter said.
“This particular scanner, unlike current scanners at other Australian airports, is open to the surroundings; there is no booth, no rotating elements, and no need for the arms to be raised during the body scan. This makes this scanner easy for passengers to use, meaning we can keep their time in security to a minimum while detecting any prohibited objects quickly.”
The scanner’s new technology means a passenger is not required to raise their arms or turn around during screening. The open plan design means passengers simply stand in front of the scanner with their arms held slightly away from the body. This assists in processing passengers with medical conditions that restrict movement and streamline the process for those passengers that volunteer to take part in the trial.
“This makes for a more pleasant experience for those suffering medical conditions or with medical implants that don’t allow them to move easily through existing scanning equipment,” Peter said.
The body scanners use millimetre wave technology, not x-ray. If the scanner reports an alarm, the location of the object is marked on a generic graphic of the human body– with no identifying features–preserving the privacy of passengers.
Tens of thousands of people pass through security screening at Newcastle Airport each month. The trail of this new scanner helped ensure the airport experience for passengers and their loved ones was quick and efficient.
The trial took place from 28 November and ran for two weeks. The scanner was located in the area earmarked for their third screening lane and SX Technology staff were onsite each day to assist.
Newcastle Airport is a significant gateway into NSW and the Hunter. As a major transport hub it is critical to economic and social infrastructure and its planned and managed growth has helped underpin the continued prosperity of the Hunter.