A department of the UK government set up to fund new ideas that improve the state of the nation’s transport security, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), has launched a competition calling on innovators to develop solutions to protect vehicle checkpoints (VCP)s at airports.
Called the Future Aviation Security Solutions programme (FASS), the competition will according to DASA, which is behind the campaign, “seek to identify innovative solutions to deliver a step change in screening vehicles at VCPs. While keen to stress that existing procedures are safe and secure, the FASS will pay particular attention to three areas that represent “the most time-consuming and laborious screening processes”.
The three areas where DASA are looking for efficiency improvement are:
- vehicle engine compartments: both conventional bonnet and ‘tilt cab’ varieties
- bulky loads: construction materials; large liquids, like fuel containers; and sealed packages.
- hard-to-reach areas: screening parts of vehicles like the driver’s cab or load space.
VCPs are a crucial cog in how airport security works due to the fact that all airport vehicles looking to access the airport’s airside perimeter are subject to mandatory checks at them. As a result VCPs process an array of vehicles on a daily basis, many of which carry goods and materials that are vital for the smooth running of the airport.
Successful applicants to the FASS competition are expected to be awarded in January 2019 and will run for six months. It is expected that a second phase of funding will be made available to help further develop promising projects from the innovation track.
Transport Security World reported in February of another UK government initiative that was created to improve security at airport termini. Under the plan £1.8 million of funding will be made available to introduce a “safer and smoother travel experience”, investing it in eight separate technologies to reduce queues and improve efficiency. One such technology that will benefit from the money is shoe scanning equipment that has been developed by Security Screening Technologies, a UK company that uses state-of-the-art imaging to detect explosive materials.
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