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Airport security set to receive a boost with invention of liquid explosives scanner

Published on 12 November, 2010

New scanning technology may end liquid ban at airports
The most promising of the upcoming technologies is whole body imaging technologies
Scientists have designed a prototype scanner to detect bottled liquid explosives at airports, the bottled liquid scanner which employs ultra-low field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology called MagViz (Magnetic Vision) but the technology still a long way from being widely adopted.

Gulzar Ahmed Janjua, Chief of Security, for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, believes that technology will play a huge part in enhancing security.

"A new type of robot is being developed which will make it easier to detect drugs, weapons, explosives and illegal immigrants concealed in cargo containers. Recent advances in both laser and fibre optic technology will now make it possible to detect tiny particles of different substances," he said.

Instead of the bottle scanner, the most promising of the upcoming technologies is whole body imaging technologies, such as the backscatter and millimetre wave machines which can spot both, explosive / weapons using X-rays to take pictures that penetrate clothing but not skin. The widespread use of this machine is however controversial, as airports and security agencies need to walk a fine line between aviation security enforcement and possible cries of outrage of modesty.

As for Cargo screening, Teotimo Cruz, Chief for Operation at Airport Police Department of Manila International Airport Authority, has seen nothing new has being invented. "The standard method is the use of X-ray machine over and above the traditional manual screening. New technologies were invented to increase machine capability and to speed up cargo screening. The efficiency relies on the skill of the operator and the security screener. While the new methods or equipment available in the market in passengers screening are the use of Walk through Metal Detectors and the Hand-held Metal Detectors," he said

Gulzar Ahmed Janjua and Teotimo Cruz will be speaking at IQPC Airport Security Asia on the 24 and the 25 of January, 2011, Hong Kong. They will be reviewing the various new technologies for baggage and passengers' screening at the conference along with airport security experts worldwide.

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