Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Intl. Leads TSA’s Gun List

Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Intl. Airport holds a notorious point of recognition with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In 2021 the airport led in numbers of firearms found at security checkpoints. The TSA said it’s the sixth year in a row that ATL has held the distinction. The guns were found in carry-on bags and the ATL airport was far ahead of Dallas/Fort Worth in second place, and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport which was third. The rate of guns per volume of passengers was more than double the national rate in the U. S.

Stowaway Discovered in Wheel Well of Cargo Plane

Dutch military police reported that a stowaway was found in the wheel well of a Cargolux cargo aircraft that arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport from Africa on Sunday, January 23. “The man is doing well considering the circumstances and has been taken to a hospital,” said a statement from the Dutch military police, who also oversee Dutch border control.

A spokesperson for freight carrier Cargolux confirmed that the stowaway had been on a flight operated by Cargolux Italia. “We are not in a position to make any further comment until the authorities and the airline have completed their investigation,” the Cargolux spokesperson said. They added there would be no further statements until the investigation was complete.

U. S. Charges Belarus Officials with Piracy in Ryanair Event

U. S. prosecutors have charged four members of the Belarussian government with “conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy” in the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk last year. A journalist, known for his opposition to the government of Belarus was onboard and was detained after the other passengers were allowed to depart. During the event, a fighter jet was sent to intercept the aircraft in the air, en route from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania. The flight was told there was a bomb threat and they were required to land. There was no bomb and the case against the country’s officials says the threat was not real and used to coerce the aircraft to land so that Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist, could be detained.

Passenger Opens Cockpit Door, Tries to Jump Out Window

An American Airlines flight out of San Pedro Sula, Honduras experienced a cockpit breech at the gate during boarding, Tuesday, January 11, 2022. A struggle ensued as the perpetrator tried to jump out an open cockpit window. There was damage to the flight controls.

The passenger reportedly opened the cockpit door, tried to exit through a cockpit window when one of the pilots intervened. The plane was grounded due to the damage. A replacement aircraft was being sent to Honduras. The flight was rescheduled to depart at 9:30 p.m. local time.

“We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation,” American Airlines said in a statement.

Industry News

False Alarms at the UK’s Some National Infrastructure Sites set to be Reduced with New Technology

Experts in human, vehicle and object detection, Business Insight 3, has built on its sole UK partnership with Barcelona-headquartered technology provider, Davantis.

Working together, the two organizations have released a ground-breaking product which is set to drastically improve intruder detection while reducing the number of false alarms from security systems at some of the UK’s most important national infrastructure sites.

The product, called DFUSION, is exclusively available in the UK via Bi3 and uses AI to enhance Davantis’ proven machine learning algorithm. In fact, during tests it has been shown to reduce the number of false alarms by as much as 90%.

And now, the exciting technology has secured the prestigious mark of approval from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). This means that it can be used as the only form of perimeter detection for everything from private land to industrial sites and critical infrastructures.

To add to its merits, it has also received the UK police’s Secure by Design (SBD) Accreditation.

“This goes far beyond simple CCTV detection, which is why it will prove so crucial for the UK’s most critical sites such as Government and public utility locations. It is exceptionally precise, meaning it will improve overall performance and the accuracy of detections while reducing the rate of false alarms,” Glen Higson, Managing Director at Bi3, said.

“At the UK’s most nationally important sites, the potential consequences of missing a detection could be huge. Added to that, false alarms reduce operator efficiency and impacts time and resources. In these situations, nothing can be left to chance which is why we believe this product is going to be very well-received by both integrators and end-users alike.

“Plus, it might just be a matter of time before more public sites need to increase their security to the same levels as the Government and other key locations. For example, Martyn’s Law, a campaign by the mother of Martyn Hett who died in the Manchester Arena attacks, has led to the Government consulting on Protect Duty which puts much more obligation on venue owners to follow the advice they are given by counter terrorism experts and improve security.”

Specific benefits of the new technology include:
• As proprietary technology, it is compatible with all hardware brands and camera models
• It analyses the video stream constantly and instantly makes a decision, using a combined machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithm, on whether the movement is a person, vehicle or false alarm
• It can work in the most challenging of environments with unprecedented reduction in false activations
• It is powerful at detecting small moving objects which could be obscured at short, medium, and long distances
• Based on detection with fixed cameras, it can instruct the Smart PTZ feature enabling directional pan, tilt and zoom to the detection area so as to provide better identification of the intruder
Another big advantage of the new system is that it can be added to existing CCTV cameras and can be rented from Bi3, meaning costs are relatively low given the system’s sophistication.

For more information about the new product and its applications, please visit: https://www.davantis.com/en/dfusion or contact Bi3 on info@bi3.co.uk.

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Reagan National Airport Makes TSA’s 2021 Top 10 List of Most Unusual Airport Security Finds

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) made it into the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Top 10 List of most unusual items found at security checkpoints nationwide in 2021. TSA released the list in an on-line video it posted on the agency’s Twitter account.

What was the item from the airport that ranked as #4 on the Top 10 List? TSA officers at DCA detected a well-worn, heavy-duty, wooden-handled machete on March 6, 2021. The dirtied blade showed it has had heavy use with what appeared to be significant wear, rust and other markings as a result of use. This specific traveler also was toting along some ammunition and a canister of flammable butane fuel.

Knives of any type—including machetes–are not permitted to be carried through an airport security checkpoint. Ammunition and butane fuel also is prohibited from being carried onto a flight.

Artemis Shielding Spearheading Non-Toxic Solutions into the New Year

Artemis Shielding, a veteran-owned and operated radiation shielding manufacturer is
making great strides to get the toxic lead out of shielding materials in various industries. The Alabama business provides custom solutions for the medical, nuclear, security, testing, and aerospace industries.

Artemis Shielding most recently broke into the aerospace industry. In February 2021, Artemis’ Radiation Shielding Material (RSM) launched with the Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The lead-free, non-toxic material provided a custom-cut solution for Aegis Aerospace’s avionics boxes and protected testing equipment from the harmful effects of radiation during extended exposure periods on the ISS.

“We are very excited to have added space travel to the expanding list of industries we serve,” said Artemis Shielding CEO Buddy Lockwood, “Our February 2021 ISS mission with Aegis Aerospace (formerly Alpha Space) opened the door for us into this arena of the Aerospace industry.”

Artemis Shielding’s Nanotek technology is proving to be successful in space and around the world. The company’s lead-free security curtains are being incorporated for Integrated Defense and Security Solutions’ (IDSS) award-winning DETECT 1000 computed tomography (CT) checkpoint baggage scanner. This partnership is keeping airport employees and the public safe from harmful radiation during security scanning in airports across the globe.

All Artemis Shielding solutions are lead-free, non-toxic and provide superior shielding protection, which the company says sets them apart from others in the market. The company’s  team continues to overcome the challenges of material shortages and supply
chain issues to provide first class service and on-time deliveries to its partners across all industries. The company says they are committed to lead free solutions says to expect big announcements in 2022.

“We expect 2022 to present even more opportunities for companies across several industries to turn to Artemis Shielding for help with their radiation shielding challenges,” said Lockwood.

Denver International Airport (DEN) Opened the Largest Self-Bag Drop (SBD) in U. S.

In November, Denver International Airport (DEN) successfully completed Phase 1 of its Great Hall Project. The company says the newly renovated Level 6 received positive reviews from passengers and airline staff ahead of the travel season specifically praising the user friendliness of the 86 new self-bag drop (SBD) systems developed by Materna IPS.

With over 73 million passengers expected to travel through DEN in 2022, the opening of the 86 self-bag drop systems perfectly aligns with the airport’s extensive technological redevelopment project; and is designed to provide passengers with the best check-in experience, including the ability to check-in over-sized luggage, like skis and snowboards. The unique hybrid self-bag drops are also equipped with counters and can be operated by the airline staff, when needed. This gives the airport the increased flexibility to meet the growth demand. Materna IPS developed the self-service systems according to the exact requirements of the airport with various partners and equipped them with state-of-the-art technology.

This project is the largest and most extensive hybrid self-bag drop (SBD) installation in the United States. The systems went live with Southwest Airlines early in November 2021 followed by United Airlines a week later. Within the first two weeks, over 35,000 bags have been processed with the newly integrated automatic baggage handling system. The Materna IPS systems were able to decrease the average passenger transaction time at DEN by nearly 50% during this period.

In addition to the hardware solution, Southwest Airlines will be using the Materna IPS SBD Application to operate the new automated baggage handling process. Materna IPS will also be responsible for hosting the self-bag drop system within the AWS Cloud where the availability and functionality of the SBD units are constantly monitored.

With the outstanding successful implementation of this major project at Denver International Airport, Materna IPS continues to strengthen its leading position in the American market and is expanding its international growth. Gary McDonald, president of Materna IPS USA, reiterates, “Everyone involved is absolutely honored to be part of this incredible, groundbreaking and innovative project that is revolutionizing passenger handling in the U.S. at one of the busiest airports in the world.”

Dedrone and Swisscom Join Forces to Protect Against Suspicious Drones

Dedrone and Swisscom Broadcast announced a partnership to protect people, property, and information from the threat of unauthorized drones.

As part of this cooperation, the Swiss company will implement Dedrone’s market-leading counter-drone solution for its projects. Together, Dedrone and Swisscom Broadcast say they plan to protect critical infrastructure facilities, airports, and events. Additionally, the solution will enable law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety in their regions.

“Dedrone’s Smart airspace security solution is the foundation for Swisscom Broadcast customers to protect their airspace from unauthorized drones,” shares Danny Schmid, Drone and Drone Security leader for Swisscom Broadcast. “We have already successfully implemented our first joint projects.”

Swisscom customers protecting critical sites can now expand security protection into their airspace through Dedrone’s drone detection and threat mitigation solution. Drones are rapidly increasing in numbers from delivery to inspection; however, as more drones become useful, the threat of uncooperative or malicious drones increases. Swisscom and Dedrone now offer an airspace security solution extending security beyond the height of any fence at critical sites and across cities, allowing security providers to differentiate between cooperative drones and unauthorized or nefarious drones.

“As Switzerland helps lead the globe in drone innovation, we are thrilled to be united with Swisscom Broadcast to offer our solutions for the safe integration of drones into the Swiss airspace,” says Dedrone CEO Aaditya Devarakonda. “Dedrone is the top choice for security teams to protect the world’s most sophisticated and secure sites from drone-based interruptions, and with Swisscom Broadcast, we are delighted to deliver smart airspace security to several of Switzerland’s most prized and protected sites.” For more on counter-drone developments, see our feature story on page 12.

SITA’s Biometric-Enabled Kiosks

SITA’s Biometric-Enabled Kiosks and Baggage Messaging Services to be Deployed at Frankfurt Airport

Air transport industry technology provider SITA has announced a large-scale technology deployment at Frankfurt Airport which they say will enhance the passenger experience and increase the airport’s operational efficiency. The deployment features the installation of 87 biometric-enabled SITA TS6 Kiosks and is expected to be completed later this year.

SITA’s TS6 check-in kiosks allow passengers to check in quickly and obtain bag tags for later self-bag drop services. The kiosks work in concert with SITA Flex and offer passengers a unified user experience across multiple airlines, increasing ease of use while also reducing physical touchpoints.

SITA says passengers will remain in control of their self-service options, from check-in to self-bag drop via the intuitive biometric-enabled kiosk. SITA says the new kiosk can be customized to fit with the airport’s brand design and specific customer needs. The modular design also means enhancements and modifications can be made without replacing the entire kiosk, bringing added cost efficiency and sustainability benefits.

SITA’s TS6 Kiosk can be used for check-in and bag tagging paving the way for a completely touchless, mobile passenger journey. The deployment at Frankfurt Airport represents SITA’s largest implementation in Europe.

“Offering passengers innovative, safer and smarter ways to travel while also ensuring we have resilient and efficient airport operations is vital as our industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic,” said Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, executive director, Aviation & Infrastructure at Fraport.