Perth Airport has begun a series of upgrades to passenger and baggage screening infrastructure.
The new advanced security screening equipment is being introduced as part of the Federal Government mandate to further strengthen Australia’s domestic and international aviation security.
Perth Airport CEO, Kevin Brown, said the airport’s top priority is to ensure the safety and security of passengers and their loved ones who come to the airport to see them off.
“The new state of the art equipment has been designed to enhance airport security by improving the efficiency of the screening process and detection levels,” Mr Brown said.
“The upgrades include new body scanners, walk-through metal-detectors, and x-ray machine, explosive trace detection systems and secondary viewing stations with ETD.”
Mr Brown said the body scanner has been a part of the international screening requirements for a number of years and will be introduced into domestic travel screening lanes, but with updated technology.
“The implementation of this more sophisticated, faster body scanners at domestic screening points will require passengers to walk between two walls, pause, and stand straight in a relaxed pose. The scan will take less than a second,” Mr Brown said.
“The body scanners can detect all foreign matter, both metal and non-metal, carried by a person to within a millimetre of the skin, and then pin-point it on an outline of the person’s body illustrated in the form of an avatar or ‘stickperson’.
“As was the case when the last round of security processes that were implemented in 2012, the new equipment and what will be required will take some passengers to adapt so we may see some delays at screening.”
CT scanners for baggage screening
The $13 million upgrade to Perth Airport’s Checked Baggage Screening system across all terminals has begun.
Perth Airport has engaged local construction company Georgiou Group to deliver the project.
Another major improvement will be the introduction of CT scanners for all international and domestic carry-on baggage, eliminating the need to remove computers and aerosols from bags for the screening process.
The new CT x-ray machine will use 3D technology to ease detection of suspect goods in passengers’ carry-on bags.
“Most travellers these days have a laptop or tablet device which they must remove from their luggage for screening. Many travellers also carry aerosol cans such as shaving foam which must also be scanned separately,” Mr Brown said.
“The new system will allow passengers to leave these items in their hand luggage, making for a more streamlined process and less hassle for passengers.
“The CT x-ray screening process differs from today due to all items needing to be broken down into the tray therefore dedicated goods screening lanes utilising existing screening equipment will be provided as part of the project.”
Mr Brown said while security efforts at passenger screening points are obvious, what people don’t see is that each checked-in bag is screened prior to being loaded onto an aircraft.
“With the introduction of CT x-rays for all international and domestic checked baggage screening processes, the new state of the art equipment will improve the efficiency of the screening process,” Mr Brown said.
Georgiou Building General Manager, Steve Okill, said Georgiou would leverage its experience in delivering projects within Perth Airport.
“We have a solid understanding of what Perth Airport expects when it comes to infrastructure upgrades and look forward to delivering another high-quality upgrade to PAPL,” Mr Okill said.
“As this project spans all four terminals, our priority will be to minimise disruption to operations while utilising innovation to provide time and cost savings.”
The Passenger Screening Reform (CT Upgrade) project is expected to be completed in 2022.