Airports safer on top-notch technology



Even as airports in the Middle East region are gearing up for massive expansions over the next decade, security systems at these massive facilities are increasingly coming under the scanner with authorities implementing projects, which according to experts involve investments of $100 million to adopt the latest technology and systems to ensure safety of the infrastructure, aircraft and passengers alike.

Airport technology was one of the five themes at this year’s edition of the event. — KT photo by Rahul Gajjar
Airport technology was one of the five themes at this year’s edition of the event. — KT photo by Rahul Gajjar

According to projections from the International Air Transport Association, or Iata, the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan will be among the top 10 fastest growing countries in terms of handling airline passengers, with the UAE projected to rank seventh for handling over 82 million international passengers by 2014. The capacity of the UAE’s airports will be increased to handle 250 million passengers by 2020. Dubai International alone is expected to spend Dh28 billion in the capacity expansion, and the emirate is expected to handle about 98 million passengers by 2020.

A report by Frost & Sullivan said $86 billion will be spent by Middle East airports in expansion plans until the year 2025. According to the Middle East Airport Security Market Assessment report, the spending in this sector is estimated to reach $57.7 million by 2015.

Mohamad Bader-Eddin, show director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, the organisers of Airport Show 2012, said the exhibition provided a good opportunity, like the previous years, to the aviation industry decision-makers about the latest technology and futuristic innovations that will benefit the airports. Airport technology was one of the five themes for this year’s Airport Show.

Speaking to the media at the 12th Airport Show at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Ingersoll Rand vice-president John R. Diedam pointed out that in today’s world where terrorists and anti-social elements could virtually come up with the most dire threats to cause widespread destruction, security was no longer someone else’s problem and that most international airports have been making conscious efforts to protect themselves and remain safest spots. He noted that biometric solutions provide a technology that cannot be replicated and are unique to the user, and delayed egress (exit) equipment, which prevent intruders and smugglers from leaving the airport vicinity before being frisked — which Ingersoll Rand was also showcasing at the Airport Show — have been widely used in the airports across the world. Some 920 of delayed egress machines have already been deployed at Dubai International Airport.

The $14 billion turnover company also showcased electronic and biometric access control systems, credential systems, locks and locksets, portable security devices and Trane chillers, and nearly 50 such chillers are installed at Dubai International. More info