The transportation security agency (TSA) is responsible for preventing knives, guns and other weapons from being taken aboard airplanes. Despite their precautions more than 800 guns were detected on board planes during 2011. This scenario has highlighted the need for more stringent screening methods.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (aerospace.frost.com), U.S. Airport Screening Technologies Market, finds that during 2011 TSA distributed approximately $437.1 million in contract obligations toward airport screening technologies.
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Currently, explosives detection systems are the main technology for airport screening processes, but the future demand will call for systems that are smaller, versatile and can enhance throughput speed. The 9/11 attacks are a grim reminder of how failed layers of security have lethal consequences. Authorities are constantly looking to plug gaps in the system effectively and efficiently.
"Significant revenue growth in airport screening technology will depend on innovations in systems for the mass screening of personnel," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst John Hernandez. "A technology that can screen large groups subtly to categorize and separate them based on risk will revive interest and open up the market."
Private security companies soon could be handling passenger screening at U.S. airports. This is due to recently passed legislation cleared by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
As terrorism becomes more adaptive, there is an urgent need to replace and repair the existing security systems. The effectiveness of advanced imaging technology (AIT) devices in detecting concealed weapons is still under review.
Backscatter X-ray systems have also come under scrutiny. The European Union has banned these devices due to scientific evidence showing that low doses of ionizing radiation, which is beamed directly at the body by these X-ray scanners, increase the risk of cancer.
"The TSA has repeatedly defined the scanners as ‘safe, ’ but there is still uncertainty surrounding the technology," said Hernandez. "This may compel market participants to make public their own scientific research relating to these risks and use this opportunity to attract new customers."
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U.S. Airport Screening Technologies Market / NAB3-16