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's Department for Transport 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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