Hi-tech scanners on way at Bahrain airport
Manama, April 2, 2009
New security measures that will scan passengers' bags for explosives are being introduced at Bahrain International Airport.
However, it will also mean outbound travellers will no longer have to pass through security checkpoints before checking their bags in.
The new system, which is due to be in place this summer, is expected to save passengers time, create much needed space at the airport and enhance security.
Travellers currently have to queue to have their bags scanned before they reach the check-in counters.
However, an agreement signed by the Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) with Aeradio Technical Services (ATS) and Holland's Vanderlande Industries will bring an end to that, as well as raise standards to international levels.
'The baggage handling operation at Bahrain International Airport will hence be brought in line with international standards in all areas, using the latest technology and staff training,' airport director Mohammed Al Kaabi told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News yesterday.
'Currently, there are four X-ray machines for screening luggage outside the check-in area.
'Those machines will be removed and passengers can go directly to the check-in area, where the baggage screening will be done online.
'Passengers will only be called to open their baggage if security staff find prohibited items. Such incidents happen very rarely at our airport.'
He added the new system should be in place by June or July.
The deal was signed with ATS and Vanderlande Industries in a ceremony attended by BAC chief executive officer Dr Osama Alali, Al Kaabi and airport director of engineering and maintenance Abdallah Janahi.
It is expected to help the airport meet International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements.
Vanderlande Industries provide automated baggage handling systems and accompanying services, focusing on improving baggage sorting, customer and business processes and strengthening the airport's competitive position.
Meanwhile, ATS will provide X-ray machines capable of detecting explosives in addition to the conventional X-ray machines.
Al Kaabi said these would be incorporated in an upgrade of the airport's online baggage handling system.
'Implementation of the Vanderlande and ATS programmes will result in a speedier and more customer friendly check-in process, enhancing convenience and saving time, bringing both processes to international standards of excellence and according to present day world baggage operation and security climates,' he added.
'It will result in a smooth transformation of Bahrain's international airport into a world class facility.'
The GDN reported on March 24 that a major expansion of Bahrain International Airport was on the cards, including the construction of a second terminal, new VIP terminal and an Airport Centre including shops, cinemas and car parking.-TradeArabia News Service