Durham Tees Valley Airport is set to lead the way in introducing a ground-breaking system for identifying liquid explosives thanks to a link-up with a high-tech North East company.
The Airport has reached agreement with County Durham digital x-ray technology firm Kromek, to introduce equipment which can identify the presence of threat liquids carried in any kind of container without the need to actually open the containers or handle the material inside.
The Kromek bottle scanner is attracting interest from airports and security agencies across the world and its introduction at Durham Tees Valley is in preparation for the changes in the regulations on taking liquids on board planes due to come into operation this autumn for transiting passengers passing through the airport..
The scanner is able to check any item against the ‘spectral signature’ of all internationally-recognised dangerous materials, providing a simple ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ reading and Airport manager Shaun Woods believes it is set to revolutionise security throughout the industry.
He explains “In recent years security regulations have strictly controlled the ways in which liquids can be carried on board aircraft…and also the need for checking materials. Currently we use checking measures which involve physically opening a container in order to carry out the checks, which is both time-consuming and can in itself involve safety considerations for security staff carrying out the examinations.
“The scanner developed by Kromek, which has received approval from Europe’s air safety regulators, is safe, easy to use, quick…it takes less than 20 seconds to scan an item… and requires no physical sampling. It can handle containers up to 2 litres of any shape or material, glass, plastic metal or cardboard.”
“When I first went to see the system in operation at Kromek’s headquarters at NetPark I was tremendously impressed and I am delighted that we have the opportunity to work with a locally-based company which really is a world leader in its field.”
Founded in 2003 as a spin-off from Durham University’s physics department, Kromek has pioneered the development of digital colour imaging for X rays for use in a variety of markets, including the security, industrial inspection, defence and medical fields…and most recently has developed a family of products for aviation and border security, including the bottle scanner.
Kromek Chief Executive, Dr Arnab Basu added: “We are delighted to be working with the local airport in Teesside in a forward-looking partnership, aiming to increase passenger safety and security while at the same time ease restrictions on the travelling public.”