Department for Transport
HELPING IMPROVE SECURITY AT AIRPORTS
Airport security is a high priority and attack targets include concourses and
other public spaces.
The UK government wanted to understand the impact of different types of
security checks as people enter the airport terminal building to go check
in. This included determining how effective the checks were at screening
travellers and estimating at how disruptive it would be for those passengers
and the operation of the airport.
An airport terminal is a complex space where tens of thousands of people can pass through each day, carrying out many different activities as they do so, including: checking in, shopping, eating and going through to the main security to catch their flights.
The security measures to be looked at were varied – including: step-through
metal detectors, explosive sensors, sniffer dogs and camera-based standoff sensors – and in different locations, both at the entrance passages (or bridges) and the departure check-in concourse.
And the interaction between the people and the security measures is very important – queues could build, dogs may not be able to patrol effectively
very crowded spaces, and the view of suspicious people for the standoff
sensors could be blocked by other travellers.
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