Airport trials 3D bag scans to take away liquid, gels hassle
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Airport trials 3D bag scans to take away liquid, gels hassle

Security technology being trialled at Melbourne Airport could mean passengers will no longer have to separate their laptops, liquids or gels from carry on bags when entering the terminal.

While current technology uses two dimensional imaging, the new 'smart lane' developed by Smiths Detection uses CT scanning to produce a 3D image of what’s inside your bag.

“This CT technology is the exact same type of technology used in the medical profession to conduct scans of the human body,” said Jordan Thrupp, managing director of Smiths Detection.

New technology promises to improve security clearance times at airports.

New technology promises to improve security clearance times at airports.Credit:Paul Rovere

Mr Thrupp said while the current technology is adequate, the new technology will take airport security to “the next level”.

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He said he expected there would be national interest in the security scheme and is confident the technology will roll out to all Australia's major airports as well as regional terminals in the coming years.

"We anticipate mainstream adoption over the next one to two years", Mr Thrupp said.

Improved scanning combined with “smarter algorithms” is making the process “simpler and more efficient” for operators and "advanced and improved" for passengers.

The Melbourne-Sydney air corridor is the world’s fifth busiest with 35 million people passing through the airport each year.

Mr Thrupp said unpacking and repacking at the security checkpoint has typically been a major cause of the congestion, choke points and bottlenecks at screening points.

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“While the travelling public generally accept the need for security in aviation due to the threat posed by those that want to inflict harm, that doesn’t mean it’s stress free.

“This technology goes a significant way to improving that experience for passengers.”

The technology will come at a greater cost to the airport but Simon Gandy, chief of aviation at Melbourne Airport, pledged his commitment to improving the "traveller experience".

One of the smart lanes currently being trialled at Melbourne Airport.

One of the smart lanes currently being trialled at Melbourne Airport.

"As Australia's busiest 24/7 airport we will continue to find ways to implement new technology and upgrades," Mr Gandy told Fairfax Media.

The pilot project has been running since mid-October.

“We have our sights set on making sure we can offer this product to the industry as we believe it assists in not only getting a high level of security outcome but also improving the facilitation experience for passengers.”

Charlotte is a reporter for The Age.

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