Schiphol and Pangiam Innovate with Artificial Intelligence in Security Process

Royal Schiphol Group is starting a collaboration with security technology company Pangiam to develop a new way to screen hand baggage quickly and safely. The new technology, powered by artificial intelligence, could eventually help enable travelers to go through security checks faster, without compromising on safety.

The aim of the collaboration is to explore how Pangiam’s new technology can improve and speed up hand baggage screening at Schiphol and other airports. The technology uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to analyze images of hand baggage and identify prohibited items and other security risks. In the future, the technology could support employees in this and speed up the process for travelers.

“We are fully committed to recruiting security colleagues and have been increasing the productivity of our security equipment recently, of course without compromising on the quality of security,” said Philip van Noort, director security at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “In the future, this collaboration can contribute to more comfort for travellers thanks to secure and faster hand baggage screening. Safety always remains our priority.”

Alexis Long, head of Project DARTMOUTH at Pangiam added, “Royal Schiphol Group has an international reputation for innovation and excellence in technology. This collaboration allows us to bring the benefits of artificial intelligence to the security checkpoint and improve the process.”

Schiphol is the first major European airport to support Project DARTMOUTH, a collaboration between Pangiam and Google. Schiphol is testing the new technology in practice and on a small scale in order for the system to be developed further. The technology can be applied to existing hardware and equipment, such as Schiphol’s CT scans. It can also be used in combination with other software. If the technology meets all requirements and European regulations, and the trial period is successful, it will be implemented at scale.

The collaboration between Pangiam and Schiphol is part of a wider program to accelerate the innovation and development of promising in-house and partner technology solutions.

Anduril Expands Into New Atlanta Office, Research, Development and Production Facility

Anduril recently completed their expansion into a new Atlanta office, research, development and production facility.

Anduril says the new Atlanta office is a place for development of ALTIUS as well as other assets in their family of autonomous air systems. ALTIUS is an autonomous aerial vehicle that can be launched from the ground, off ships or aircraft. ALTIUS significantly extends the reach and survivability of crewed aircraft, autonomously executing complex missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as a loitering munition or for civilian purposes.

The new facility includes more than 180,000 square feet of industrial buildings that have been transformed into mix-use office, research and development, manufacturing and production space across two buildings. In addition to engineering space, Anduril’s new Atlanta office features research and development labs, an additive manufacturing/3D printing lab, composites lab, machine shop and an extensive production facility. The company says having the full lifecycle of design, development, prototyping, manufacturing and production in the same space allows them to iterate and develop technology “incredibly fast.” It says the new space will give the capacity to manufacture and produce hundreds of aircraft per year.

The company currently has more than 200 employees in Atlanta, a number expected to increase to 300 by the end of 2023, with room to grow to more than 500.

“We’re proud to be an active part of Atlanta’s growing technology, aerospace & defense communities. Atlanta has a highly skilled and educated workforce in aerospace, engineering, robotics, manufacturing and production as well as an active military and veteran population. In addition, Atlanta is home to some of the top research universities, colleges and technical institutions allowing us to tap into a diverse talent pool,” a company statement said.

Anduril is actively hiring in Atlanta for a variety of engineering are currently hiring disciplines including aerospace, mechanical, software, electrical, and systems backgrounds for research and development as well as mechanical and avionics technicians.

In addition to Atlanta, Anduril has a diverse geographical presence with headquarters in Orange County, CA and offices in Seattle, WA; Boston, MA; Washington DC; London, UK and Sydney, Australia.

Dedrone Expands FAA Partnership for Counterdrone Operations at Airports

Dedrone, the market leader in smart airspace security, today announced an expanded partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Section 383 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which provides for testing of counterdrone detection, tracking, identification and mitigation technologies to develop clearer regulations around the use of these technologies at airports.

Dedrone was part of the first round of technologies selected for testing at Atlantic City International Airport and has now been invited to expand to a second airport as part of the ongoing research being conducted by the FAA to make airports safer from disruptions caused by drones. “The threat of drone disruptions to airports and other critical infrastructure is persistent and escalating. We are honored to continue our work with the FAA to make airports safer for passengers, crew and airport staff by incorporating our counterdrone technology into existing airport security apparatuses,” said Aaditya Devarakonda, CEO of Dedrone. “We look forward to further supporting the FAA at this additional airport after successful implementation in Atlantic City.”

DedroneTracker, a sensor-fusion platform providing drone detection, tracking, identification (DTI) and mitigation via the most sophisticated AI capabilities on the market, is currently being used at both airports. DedroneTracker confirms drone presence and determines the precise location of drone. Based on real-time drone behavior, imagery, known flight modeling and other inputs, the AI engine offers the operator a prioritized queue of targets through autonomous background interrogation while simultaneously tracking multiple friendly drones.

Dedrone has also been selected to work with the FAA on bringing safe mitigation technologies to airports, including the recently released DedroneDefender precision jammer. DedroneDefender comes equipped with narrow-band jamming to minimize disruption to other devices and meets military standard MIL-STD-810H. This use of narrow-band or “comb” jamming reduces the risk of interference with other systems in the area.

The FAA testing is by invitation only and began in February 2022. It will continue through September 30, 2023 at a total of five airports around the country including Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio; Huntsville International Airport, Huntsville, Alabama; Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Syracuse, New York; and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington, in addition to Atlantic City. The FAA will use the results of the testing in its development of a plan for the certification and authorization of counterdrone detection and mitigation systems in the National Airspace System (NAS) including at airports around the country.

This work with the FAA constitutes a further expansion of Dedrone’s service to the 30 US federal entities that Dedrone already counts as customers. In fact, Dedrone’s technology is implemented across 40 countries, and used by four of the G-7 nation governments; more than 100 critical infrastructure sites; 30+ airports; 50+ stadiums and 20+ non-US governments. Most recently, Dedrone acquired Aerial Armor to further cement its leadership in the counterdrone industry. The combined company actively provides counterdrone solutions for some of the most high-profile events around the world and works closely with over 70 public safety agencies.

TSA Workers Injured When “Brazen” Passenger Attacks

A passenger traveling in the Phoenix, Ariz. Airport attacked three Transportation Security officers, in what the authorities there called unprovoked and brazen attack. The three officers were at work at a security checkpoint when they were attacked by a woman going through security.

Two of the officers involved in the attack were taken to the hospital and treated. They were later released. The local police arrested Makiah Coleman. “The suspect involved in this case was taken into custody and later booked into jail without further incident,” according to a statement by Phoenix police. Coleman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

“We are grateful for our committed workforce and for the role they play in protecting the traveling public every day,” a statement released by the TSA said. “Unfortunately, this situation  not only resulted in three of our TSA officers being injured, but inconvenienced approximately 450 travelers who had to be redirected to a nearby checkpoint for security screening due to the actions of this traveler.”

It was unclear what led up to the attack but some reports said the perpetrator became angry and allegedly bit and hit the agents when they removed her juice at a security checkpoint.

Everbridge Says Only 24% of Surveyed Organizations Have Solid Travel Risk Management Program

Critical event management (CEM) and national public warning software solutions provider, Everbridge,  released findings that show only 24% of surveyed organizations have a strong Travel Risk Management (TRM) program in place as defined by TRM Standard ISO 31030. The results come from the company’s year-long study of more than 200 global C-suite executives. Additionally, only 21% of those surveyed feel that their organizations have adequate measures in place to meet the standard’s key requirements for travel safety.

“Addressing potential gaps in a company’s travel risk management program is critical to successfully building a more resilient workforce,” said Tracy Reinhold, chief security officer at Everbridge. “The good news is that the introduction of ISO 31030 has removed much of the guesswork in how to do that. But there is still plenty of room for improvement as organizations seek to mitigate risks and fulfill their duty of care. Even those in the top category should ensure continuous reviews of their programs and policies as risks consistently evolve.”

ISO 31030 is the officially recognized International Standard for travel risk management, providing guidance on how to manage risks to organizations and travelers. To help organizations benchmark their travel risk programs against this standard and identify any shortfalls, Everbridge developed Measuring Up Against ISO 31030 – The Travel Risk Management Standard, an online survey measuring the seven key areas of the standard: Understanding risk context; Managing travel risk effectively; Travel risk assessment and treatment; Incident response; Specialist support; Communication and consultation; and Program monitoring and review.

Among the survey’s key findings:

• Only 24% of respondents have a solid travel risk management program in place as defined by ISO 31030
• Only 27% of respondents have a clear understanding of their organization’s risk profile
• Only 36% of respondents feel that their TRM policies are aligned with other organizational policies
• Only 21% of respondents feel that adequate measures are in place to safeguard travelers
• Only 19% feel that policies and procedures have been effectively communicated and understood
• 81% believe their organization needs to improve the way their TRM program is evaluated and reviewed

Adds Reinhold: “While risks associated with the global pandemic dominated the attention of travel professionals for the last three years, severe weather events and civil unrest now pose the biggest threats to business travel. ISO guidance is a boon to travel managers as it gives them a chance to evaluate their own programs against industry standards. It is also a terrific opportunity to review and refresh established TRM programs.”

Spirit Airlines Flight Attendants Approve New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Spirit Airlines recently announced that its flight attendants, who are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The contract includes increased pay rates, more scheduling flexibility and additional enhanced benefits.

“Spirit’s Flight Attendants are the best in the business, and we’re pleased to recognize their dedication, professionalism and hard work on behalf of our Guests,” said John Bendoraitis, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Spirit Airlines. “We thank the AFA Negotiating Committee, Master Executive Council (MEC) and Spirit Airlines Negotiating Team for their partnership and collaboration to reach this agreement.”

New York City to Deploy Robotic Dogs For Certain Events

The mayor of New York City announced that the New York Police Department would start using Boston Dymanics’ robotic dogs in certain situations, specifically life threatening situations.

The types of events the robotic dogs will be used in include hostage negotiations, counterterrorism incidents and other situation as warranted, according to Jeffrey Maddrey, chief of department.

New York City attempted to begin the program two years earlier but the public outrage forced the police department to reconsider which it has now done.

PASSUR Aerospace Completes Integration of Symphony Portfolio

PASSUR Aerospace announced that it has successfully integrated the Symphony product portfolio and team into the PASSUR organization. As part of the transition, all the key Symphony account management, customer success, finance and technical personnel have joined the PASSUR team. PASSUR is now responsible for the development and maintenance of the Symphony product line, as well as the support of all customer contracts.

“The Symphony team brings a unique combination of talent, dedication and experience in the areas of airport noise management, flight tracking systems and surveillance data services,” said PASSUR CEO Brian Cook. “They are a great addition to PASSUR and will support the continued growth of our business in the global air transport market.”

With this addition, the Symphony product portfolio becomes part of a global commercial aviation organization whose key focus is growth in the global airport / airline Software as a Service (SaaS) and aviation data services market.

PASSUR aggregates data from the world’s largest Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) network, including over 55,000 terrestrial ADS-B sensors, a global space-based satellite ADS-B network, weather feeds, air navigation service provider data and airline and airport operator data.

Using machine learning /artificial intelligence forecasting and predictions, PASSUR provides airport and airline operators with solutions for real-time situational awareness, alerting, decision support, collaboration, aeronautical fees, and airfield surface management.

The new PASSUR portfolio is uniquely positioned to meet the digital operations support needs of airports, airlines, integrators and aviation service providers of all sizes, across the globe. Together, the combined organization supports over 80+ unique commercial, general aviation and military airports, and dozens of airlines.

PASSUR Aerospace Completes Integration of Symphony Portfolio

PASSUR Aerospace (PASSUR) announced that it has successfully integrated the Symphony product portfolio and team into the PASSUR organization. As part of the transition, all the key Symphony account management, customer success, finance and technical personnel have joined the PASSUR team. PASSUR is now responsible for the development and maintenance of the Symphony product line, as well as the support of all customer contracts.

“The Symphony team brings a unique combination of talent, dedication and experience in the areas of airport noise management, flight tracking systems and surveillance data services,” said PASSUR CEO Brian Cook. “They are a great addition to PASSUR and will support the continued growth of our business in the global air transport market.”

With this addition, the Symphony product portfolio becomes part of a global commercial aviation organization whose key focus is growth in the global airport / airline Software as a Service (SaaS) and aviation data services market.

PASSUR aggregates data from the world’s largest Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) network, including over 55,000 terrestrial ADS-B sensors, a global space-based satellite ADS-B network, weather feeds, air navigation service provider data, and airline and airport operator data.

Using machine learning /artificial intelligence forecasting and predictions, PASSUR provides airport and airline operators with solutions for real-time situational awareness, alerting, decision support, collaboration, aeronautical fees, and airfield surface management.

406Day Signals Pre-Season Reminder of Life-Saving Benefits of 406 MHz Beacons

On April 6, ACR Electronics joined with its brands and partners for the 11th 406Day campaign to raise awareness about life-saving 406 MHz beacon technology.

The annual 406Day message promotes the importance of 406 MHz EPIRBs (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon), PLBs (Personal Locator Beacon) and ELTs (Emergency Locator Transmitter), highlighting their vital role as a link to rescue services via the designated Cospas-Sarsat satellite system.

Providing useful advice ahead of the new season, the 406Day guidance includes tips on beacon use and maintenance for all leisure sailors, boaters, watersport enthusiasts and maritime workers, as well as hikers and anyone enjoying activities in remote regions.

PLBs, designed for installation within a life jacket for semi-automatic activation upon inflation, and EPIRBs, carried by a vessel, are activated in an emergency on land or sea, saving more than 50,000 lives worldwide since the mid-1980s by using emergency distress 406 MHz beacon signals and the Cospas-Sarsat system.

Each 406 MHz beacon transmits a unique digital code that identifies the type of beacon and allows registration data to be associated with the device. The registration data provides information such as the beacon owner, the type of vessel and emergency points of contact. All beacon owners should update their beacon registration, check their battery expiration date, and self-test their beacons to make sure they are working perfectly.

In 2023, the awareness drive includes an update on multiple signal technologies added to the next generation beacons.

Mikele D’Arcangelo, Vice President of Global Marketing & Product Management, ACR Electronics, said: “406Day founder ACR and its brand Ocean Signal will once again aim to raise awareness about 406 MHz Emergency Locator Beacons, particularly how to test and register your beacon. Ready for activation in an emergency to instantly access rescue services via the satellite network, these beacons are very easy to use, very affordable and do not require subscriptions. They will provide you and your family with peace of mind – and could end up saving your life. This year, we are also highlighting important new technology advances with the introduction of AIS, Return Link Service and Nearfield Communications (NFC), proving that it is even more essential to have this gear in your backpack, on your boat, or in your ditch bag.”

The difference for users selecting the next generation PLBs and EPIRBs is access to both long and short-range detection technologies in one package in an emergency. The products, including the Miami Innovation Award-winning ACR ResQLink AIS PLB and the DAME Special Mention awarded GlobalFix V5 EPIRB, unite two different key systems for the first time – the global response capabilities of the rescue services via the satellite network and AIS technology to indicate an MOB position to nearby vessels for immediate aid.

The next generation beacons include Galileo Return Link Service, providing the user with confirmation that the international satellite system has received their distress message and location. The ACR Electronics NFC app offers mobile connectivity for the first time, enabling beacon owners to monitor their beacons, review self-test results, view GNSS test locations, and monitor beacon performance and maintenance. The beacons also have visible and infrared signal lights. For SOLAS vessels, the ACR Electronics GlobalFix V5 EPIRB meets updated IMO maritime Safety Committee EPIRB regulations requiring new EPIRBs to be fitted with an internal AIS locating signal.

ACR Electronics offers the following simple advice to beacon owners to ensure their EPIRB, PLB or ELT will operate effectively in the event of an emergency.

  • Check the battery expiration date – Each beacon is marked with the Month and Year the battery needs to be replaced.
  • Update your beacon registration – Make sure your contact information is correct and your emergency contacts information is accurate to best assist Search and Rescue.
  • Double check your beacon registration number matches your beacon – This is especially important if you hand wrote your registration and mailed it in.
  • Test your beacon – 406Day is about getting beacon owners to be more comfortable with their beacon, so do a self-test and make sure it’s working perfectly.
  • Review the Product Support Manual to make sure you fully know how to use the beacon and where to store it to prevent a false activation.
  • Save a Friend – Take a picture with your EPIRB, PLB, or ELT and share it on your social media accounts using the hashtags #406Day #406Day23 and #beaconssavelives and tag some friends that you think might need one.