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'Checkpoint of the future' tested at San Francisco airport

Discussie gestart


SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — An airport security "checkpoint of the future" that lets travelers leave shoes on feet, keys in pockets and laptop computers in carry-on bags was shown off in San Francisco on Wednesday.

General Electric (GE) got clearance from San Francisco International Airport to set up a "laboratory" in an unused lane at an active passenger checkpoint.

"The objective is to take our research and development work out of a sterile lab environment and put it in a real world environment," Steve Hill GE Security's Homeland Protection division told AFP.

"San Francisco International is known to be on the cutting edge of new technologies, so it was a no-brainer to go to them and ask them to support this effort."

GE merged an array of computer and scanning technologies into a system that promises to get passengers through an automated checkpoint in 20 seconds, Hill said.

"In our vision for the checkpoint of the future, no one will have to take shoes or coats off, or take anything out of pockets or take laptops out of bags," Hill said.

While a price tag had yet to be put on the new security checkpoint system, its creators promised it would save money because far fewer TSA agents would be needed to operate the automated, remotely-monitored equipment.

"Perhaps the sexiest part is the solution we put together will make the passenger experience less intrusive," Hill said.

Passenger screening would begin when a traveller presses a finger to an explosive-sensing touch pad while checking baggage or getting a ticket.

Sophisticated CAT scan devices would replace X-ray technology currently used to scan carry on bags, Hill said. Passengers would then step through a circular, transparent "wave portal" capable of detecting "threat anomalies" such as weapons or bombs, Hill said.

Passengers would then step on a scanner that detects dangerous chemicals or other hazards, according to Hill.

"A passenger then picks up bags and proceeds on their merry way," Hill said. "Unless some potential threat is identified."

The checkpoint was put together at San Francisco International during the past few weeks by GE technicians, who were using workers to test the gear on Tuesday.

They hope to soon enlist real passengers as volunteers to put the system through its paces and get feedback. Once perfected, the system will be pitched to the TSA for use at airports nationwide, Hill said.

"The TSA is constantly in pursuit of new technology to improve security and enhance our explosive-detection capabilities," said administration spokesman Nico Melendez, who was among those who attended the unveiling.
#1 - 23-12-2005, 17:19 uur


Nice ! ben benieuwd of het ook echt gaat werken..
#2 - 23-12-2005, 17:22 uur


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