Hi-Tech Scanners at Bahrain Airport

08.04.2010 Bahrain

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New security systems capable of scanning airline passengers' baggage for explosives have become operational at Bahrain International Airport.
Special machines have been installed as part of the project, which will enable 3,000 pieces of baggage to be handled an hour and eliminate the need for conventional X-ray machines.
'The new system is placed out of sight behind check-in counters and is designed to enhance security and significantly reduces the congestion of travellers entering the check-in hall,' a Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) spokesman said yesterday.
'Outbound passengers will already notice a much smoother flow into the airport with the phasing out of the old screeners.'
The spokesman said the new screening system used advanced security technology and processes, meaning luggage could go through up to five levels of checks to ensure no prohibited items were brought aboard an aircraft.
'Such systems can only be found in leading international airports. With this, the BAC is not only contributing towards this commitment, it is also improving security measures according to international aviation security standards and airport safety best-practices', he said.
The official added that there was continuous co-ordination between the Interior Ministry and the Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) to ensure the optimal utilisation of the new system.
Bahrain is the second Gulf country to introduce the new security measures. A similar security system already exists in Dubai.
Bahrain International Airport Director Mohammed Tamer Al Kaabi earlier said the system had been operational in the transit area for several months and was proving to be a real time saver.
He said bags would go into automated machines as soon as the passengers checked them in and would be dealt with electronically.
Al Kaabi said the system would be part of a five-part process. The first would be completely automatic and most baggage was expected to go through that but if something suspicious were detected, an electronic check would be carried out again as part of stage two.
The third stage, human intervention, would be carried out if doubts were not cleared, and a fourth stage, if needed, would require involvement of the passenger. The fifth stage, if it happened, would involve the baggage being destroyed.
BAC had signed an agreement with Aeradio Technical Services (ATS) and Holland's Vanderlande Industries to introduce the systems last year.

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