New passenger security system to halve screening time at Shannon Airport

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New screening system part of a wider €17 million airport enhancement programme. Picture - Arthur Ellis.

TIME spent going through passenger security screening at Shannon Airport is set to be halved, thanks to a new €2.5 million investment in a state-of-the-art security screening system unveiled on Monday, October 18.

Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group explained: “We are very proud of this project, which uses cutting-edge technology and is expected to considerably shorten the dwell time in the airport security screening area. We are very grateful for the support we have received from the Department of Transport to enable us carry out this project.”

“It is the latest in a €17 million programme of works underway at the airport campus. Among these are a new €12.7 million Hold Baggage Screening facility, which will be completed shortly, a series of airfield upgrade works, the extension of an airside covered walkway, and the upgrade to the customs channel and exit into the arrival hall in the terminal building. All of these projects are designed to futureproof the airport in the years ahead”, added Ms Considine.

John Francis, Shannon Airport Security Manager. Picture – Arthur Ellis.

The new high-tech security screening system makes the removal of laptops and liquids from cabin bags a thing of the past and, combined with the latest technologically advanced security scanning equipment, it reduces touch points, and will make the passenger journey through security quicker and easier.

The project required considerable planning and took five months to complete. In order to take delivery of the new equipment, which was delivered by ten 18-wheel articulated trucks over three days, the airport terminal forecourt was temporarily closed. A section of glass on the first floor of the terminal building was removed and cranes used to hoist over 22 tonnes of equipment into the building – a considerable engineering feat in itself.

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“Our new security screening facility is a fantastic innovation and is the latest enhancement to the passenger journey at Shannon. For our customers it means a quick, smoother and easier experience. This, along with our combined USA TSA and Europe security screening, gives Shannon a unique edge over other airports internationally and lives up to our brand promise to make our airport experience even easier,” said John Francis, Shannon Airport Security Manager.

As part of the project, new, larger airport trays designed to hold cabin bags have replaced the smaller airport trays. With this new system all liquid, gels, aerosols, creams, pastes, baby food, medicines and special dietary products that previously had to be presented seperately into clear sealed plastic bags, can now remain packed in cabin bags.

The restriction on liquids of more than 100ml no longer applies, and passengers can travel with larger quantities of liquids as long as they fit into a cabin bag. In addition, electrical items, laptops and tablets no longer have to be separately screened and can remain in cabin bags, which of course means fewer trays per passenger. Therefore, less divesting, less
repacking and more time to avail of the airport’s retail and food and beverage offering.

Picture – Arthur Ellis.

Since 2016 Shannon Airport has been, and still is, the only airport in the world to operate a combined European compliant and US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) compliant checkpoint system, which means the passenger is screened once to both regulatory standards and therefore eliminates the additional screening requirements which apply at other preclearance airports.