The Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, has announced it has started tests on four different security scanners at Oslo Airport. It aims to learn how they can enhance security and determine whether they can offer a screening method that is more comfortable for passengers.
The trial period started on February 9 with scanners installed in the security check furthest to the left in Oslo’s departures hall.
“It’s important to us to gain experience to ensure that a potential future rollout of this technology doesn’t negatively impact how passengers experience the security check,” says Bjørn Erik Larsen, project manager at Oslo Airport.
“Avinor wants to facilitate better flow through security screening and believes that the use of security scanners will help achieve this goal. Eventually, we hope we can deploy this technology at several of the larger airports around Norway,” says Njål Ladstein, head of the Security Section at Avinor.
The equipment to be tested is EU-approved and uses millimetre wave technology to identify objects. The technology is harmless and has no adverse health effects.
“The images taken of the passenger will not be saved, and the security officer will only see a schematic figure of the passenger during scanning. The image is age- and gender-neutral and resembles a gingerbread figure in appearance,” says Mr Larsen.
“Objects that are detected show up only as markings on the figure on the screen.”
The equipment that will be tested means that screeners can more effectively detect whether passengers are wearing objects that may be dangerous or illegal, but do not show up in the traditional metal detector used today.
“Our goal is that passengers will view the security check as better organised and more efficient, while achieving a higher level of security at the same time. We also hope to save time with these scanners,” says Mr Larsen.
A good test population is necessary to provide Avinor with a sound basis to assess whether security scanners can be a useful contribution to tomorrow’s security screening.
“We hope that travellers will be willing to test the new scanners. Then we can test the machines against a Norwegian environment that includes winter clothing and more hand baggage than the rest of Europe, and as close to a realistic situation as possible,” Mr Larsen concluded.