• Montana airport wants private security companies to replace TSA screeners after breach

    TSA screeners at Gallatin Field in southwest Montana failed to detect a gun in a passenger’s carry-on bag; the airport security authorities say they will explore private companies to replace TSA screeners; chair of the Gallatin Airport Authority: “If those guys can’t detect a handgun, which is pretty basic, not some exotic explosive sewn to your underpants, then we get upset”

  • Bruker’s Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor advances to DHS Phase IIIb

    Bruker uses its proprietary RAID Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) technology for the Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor Program, which is designed for long-term monitoring of ambient air for the presence of hazardous chemical vapors in the interior or exterior of critical government buildings, subways, airports and other facilities; the company says it has also developed a new product – the DE-tector — which uses next-generation IMS technology with selectivity and specificity that approaches that of mass spectrometry

  • Hidden sensor network detects explosives

    German researchers develop a covert sensor system that track people carrying explosive in busy transportation hubs; the system works using two separate sensory networks that gather chemical and kinetic information — the first is made up of a series of four to six rotating laser scanners that send pulses through corridors, walkways, or escalators at airports or railway stations; the second network consists of electronic sensors hidden in air vents and wall fixtures that provide chemical data on explosive materials

  • U.K. firm says its scanning technology meets security, privacy concerns

    Cambridge, U.K.-based TeraView says it is developing terahertz body scanners which use light from upper end of the infra-red spectrum, with a wavelength between 0.1 and 1mm; the scanners do not produce an image but a “fingerprint” — rather than blurry pictures of naked tourists, a TeraView scanner would return absorbance data that could be automatically analyzed to approve travelers or alert airport staff to investigate further

  • African nations do not have the means for meaningful improvements in airport security

    While some of the worst lapses, such as allowing spears or other potential weapons in carry-on luggage, seem no longer to occur, other aspects of airport security in Africa remain disquieting; One expert says that if airports in developing nations had to meet Western security standards, “they would ground all the airplanes, as simple as that”

  • Keeping underwear bombing in perspective

    The Nigerian underwear bomber and the Saudi suicide bomber who hid explosives in his body cavities (although it now appears that he, too, was an underwear bomber) point to a new, if so far ineffective, tactics on the part of al Queda; how serious is this threat? One expert says we should keep three things in mind: the threat is not serious because of inherent limitations involved in carrying incendiaries inside the human body or one’s underwear; one of two of these bombers may go through, though; the sheer complexity inherent in the effort involved in trying to prevent this type of bombing may erases any theoretical benefits and gains beyond a certain point; we may have reached that point

  • Implant Sciences targets $2 billion U.S. explosives detection market

    Implant Science estimates that the total U.S. market for explosives detection technologies may be greater than $2.0 billion by 2011; the company has launched a strategic initiative to sell its products to U.S. domestic law enforcement agencies and other security organizations that protect both public and privately owned critical infrastructure

  • Debate intensifies over full-body scanners

    The Christmas Day near-bombing invigorated an already-keen interest in whole-body scanners; there is debate going on over the effectiveness – and health risks – of the two main technologies available: millimeter-wave radiation and backscatter radiation; some suggest soft chemical ionization as an alternative

  • U.K, European rail boom forecast as travelers tire of airport scan queues

    Concerns have been raised in the United Kingdom that whole-body scanners could significantly increase journey times as passengers queue to go through the detectors; this could lead to frequent flyers, particularly business travelers, deciding to opt for the train for domestic and short haul European flights

  • Whole body scanner may be part of the answer, but not all of it

    Whole body scanners should provide the answer to security screening, but the human element – people get bored, distracted, and careless – will make them less than flawless; the future of screening is technology that reduces the possibility of human error to zero; there is also a need for passenger profiling that does not need to take into account the race or religion of the passenger

  • Slovak explosives found in Dublin flat

    The Slovakian government wanted to test airport security in Bratislava by planting explosives in the luggage of eight unsuspecting passengers; security checks at the airport discovered the explosives in the luggage of seven of them, but the eighth passenger had the explosives in his luggage so well concealed, that he made it to Ireland undetected

  • New airport security drive spurs scanner patent surge

    The averted Christmas bombing was only the latest evidence that there is a need for better, and more sophisticated, airport security technologies; a look at the dossiers of the U.S. Patent Office shows that many companies and individuals have applied for patents for a variety of security technologies

  • Implant Sciences offers a solution for would-be underwear bombers

    The failed attempt to bring down Northwest flight #253 on Christmas Day only highlights the opportunities explosive detection equipment manufacturers have to sell their gear to worried airport security authorities; Implant Science emphasizes the competitive advantages of its hand-held sniffer

  • Air travel security reviews under way after airliner attack

    The Obama administration has launched a review of two aspects of air travel security – the effectiveness of the no-fly watch list and explosive detection; critics take issue with DHS secretary Napolitano’s assertion that the air travel security system “worked”

  • U.K. forwarders “not surprised” by U.S. climbdown on 100 percent container scanning

    U.K. shippers say that rather than push back the deadline for 100 percent screening, as requested by DHS, the U.S. government ought to undertake a pragmatic review of the whole 100 percent screening initiative and create a revised program on a risk assessed, commercially practical, and technologically feasible basis