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Airports might become less stressful thanks to new technology

10 April 2018

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Security measures in airports have had to be increased drastically over the years and as a result of this the process of catching a flight has become a lot longer and much more stressful, but it looks like things could be changing as eight promising new projects have been given £1.8 million in funding from the government to aid them in developing technology that will strengthen airport security and hopefully shorten queues for passengers.

The funding is part of the “Future Aviation Security Solutions” programme – a joint initiative between the Department for Transport and the Home Office which over the course of 5 years will invest £25.5 million into the aviation security sector. The programme “aims to improve aviation security by funding and supporting the development of innovative science and technology” and “will improve our ability to prevent terrorist attacks on aviation and have a positive impact on passengers’ experiences.”

The projects focus on a range of different ideas and approaches from electromagnetic imaging to machine learning algorithms for x-rays   and all of them are look like they will be a huge help for security in airports.

A small team called Security Screening Technologies is behind one of the projects that looks hopeful to shorten queues and reduce stress for passengers: a sophisticated step on shoe scanning system that could mean we will no longer have to take our shoes off when going through airport scanners. Gov.uk said the shoe scanner can “rapidly form high-contrast images of footwear which can then be analysed by computers that have been ‘taught’ to recognise threats” and “any shoes which are flagged as having areas of concern could then undergo secondary screening”.

One of the other projects that could help with waiting times is a walk-through screening system that measures the natural radiation from peoples bodies as they pass through, the reading is then turned into an image from which suspicious objects can be detected using machine learning. The more accurate screening method would mean we don’t have to remove outer clothing like jackets and coats and would also  produce less false alarms and require less manual checks – all things that will surely speed up the process and take a little stress away from the daunting experience!

 

Airports aren’t the only stressful part about flying; things like getting to your flight in time and driving or using public transport can all add extra unneeded stress to your holiday, so why not take some of that stress away and let us take you to and from the airport