Can airports integrate health screening and security measures into a single process?
A common feature of airline travel is passenger screening and security checks, but how passengers are screened has evolved over time, moving from basic x-ray systems to the more intricate and sophisticated systems we see today. These modifications have frequently been influenced by historical development, events, and technological advancements. Airports, airlines, governments, consultants, and suppliers must consider how to respond to evolving health regulations in aviation and airport operations in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
So how will passenger screening look in the future? This paper investigates that query and considers how advances at security checkpoints can assist in rethinking and revamping the passenger’s health security screening procedure.
Healthful before traveling
The ability of airports, health agencies, and local governments to create and implement standard norms for health screening procedures will be crucial to the success of the aviation process. It will be necessary to rethink the high passenger concentration areas—check-in, pre-board screening, and gate boarding—to allow for physical separation and the allocation of spaces for "health screening."
Although pre-board security officers at checkpoints use cutting-edge technology, it is still necessary to pat down passengers and search their carry-ons and personal belongings. The process will continue to be carried out by a human agent until trustworthy security technology can efficiently complete all the screening without making physical contact.
As a result of COVID-19, the aviation industry and health organizations in several nations, such as the US, have released guidelines for fundamental health prevention measures in pre-board inspections, such as the usage of masks and social seclusion to reduce potential cross-contamination.
Increasing aviation security
Significant efforts have been made to meet the demand for passenger-friendly processes that can keep up with the aviation industry's traffic growth rate. Operational and geographical considerations, along with technological advancements, are essential drivers in the evolution of the security checkpoint. In order to maintain a high degree of security while keeping workers and the general public safe, checkpoints must find the correct balance between speedy contact and safety.
The impact can be seen in the complexity of security protocols (such as divestment requirements), the time needed to complete all sub-processes, the expense of the infrastructure, and the number of employees needed to operate them. The biggest increase, meanwhile, relates to the amount of floor space needed for these security checkpoints, which are frequently located in the midst of terminal buildings, with all the difficulties it entails.
Control and keep track of quarantined cases
Many have already attempted to evade quarantine while being held by officials, which is expected to continue. Airports can use OneID to enable eGates to refuse entry or departure based on RFID flags or facial recognition validations. An RFID/facial recognition assisted flag will prevent the passenger from passing through the exit gate if they are inspected upon arrival and are found to have a fever. By doing this, officials can ensure that quarantined cases stay there and avoid cases slipping through the cracks. These contactless inspections may be implemented right now and inexpensively.
Whether passengers are self-quarantined or under supervision, the identity management application can enable location services to geo-fence them after their trip. Also, it could serve as a platform for communicating with the impacted individuals to deliver crucial services and medical aid.
Checkpoint for health and safety
An Integrated Health and Safety Screening checkpoint is a strong argument for a more effective aviation travel process. As seen in the diagram above, the following changes should be taken into account for both new and existing screening checkpoint areas:
- Station for health examinations (health proof)
- A negative-pressure space where passengers with symptoms can be segregated
- E-gates for document screening and pre-boarding security entry
- Public restrooms with sinks
- Agent sinks for washing hands
- Agent screening stations in remote locations
- Personal items/carry-on luggage trays UV washing rooms
As they navigate the airports, travelers will be seeking a safe and healthy experience. The current sharp decline in passenger volume gives airports a chance to rethink the design of their terminals and streamline their operations. If airports ever want to return to a profitable condition, they must take advantage of this downtime to implement these essential upgrades. Travelers won't fly if they don't feel secure in airports. Airports will need to emphasize promoting wellness and fostering a healthy atmosphere as the new standard for the experience of flight travelers as the aviation industry recovers.
Pulling rather than pushing and self-service
One of the innovative ideas that hold promise for improving the existing labor- and space-intensive security lane layout is self-service. Many potentials exist both inside and beyond the aviation business. For instance, video assistance during the self-service procedure at the start of each security lane.
Security at checkpoints is very much a "push" approach today. When a spot in the line opens up, a customer begins removing their belongings from the queue and moves on to the next stage regardless of whether the person in front of them has finished it. As a result, there is a buildup of passengers at the airport security checkpoints that move slowly, such as the body scanner line or the baggage claim area.
A "pull" system is based on monitoring aviation passenger density. Sensors count the number of people at each stage of security and direct people to the next stage only when there is enough room. The build-up of people within the security lanes is prevented, which promotes social estrangement, by pulling rather than pushing travelers to the subsequent step.
Another way to make airline checkpoints safer and more effective is to drastically cut lines by implementing virtual queuing at security. The idea is not new; for instance, several theme parks have implemented systems that allow guests to book a spot in a virtual line and claim entry to attractions when they arrive at the appointed time.
Long before this outbreak, numerous airport security checkpoints used a similar approach, but the trend is now quickening. The virtual queue reservation system can provide advanced data on passengers' preferred checkpoint processing methods, which could lead to better checkpoint staffing and resource allocation in addition to avoiding crowds.
Airports as safe zones and information hubs
The airports' largest task is maintaining passenger comfort in the face of concerns about the spread of COVID-19. These anxieties can be reduced and passengers can feel more at ease by having access to information, observing social distancing, hiring well-screened employees, and maintaining safety measures. Airports can serve as information hubs, helping to raise knowledge about COVID-19 while also making sure infected people are prevented from traveling. Advertising displays, interactive touch-free kiosks, and the Identity Management mobile app can all be used for this.
Airports appear to be in a seamless future
The COVID-19 outbreak has presented security checkpoints with new difficulties. Security checkpoints have historically changed to accommodate new hazards and threats, which usually results in a slower, costlier process that takes up an increasing amount of airport space.
Due to the need for vast places for travelers to queue, airport checkpoints today concentrate on processing as many passengers as possible. Airports face a significant and challenging difficulty because checkpoints are not built to adhere to physical separation regulations, minimal worker involvement, and touchless technology.
This is the opportunity to test and evaluate new operating frameworks and technologies that will enable you to provide a smoother, safer passenger experience and better position for post-pandemic recovery.
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Though my main major is Economic law, I have an interest in writing. Doing this job not only helps me to fulfill my writing hobby in my free time but also provides useful knowledge for my field of study. Besides, I usually spend my free time hanging out with friends to cheer myself up and make good memories in life.