Baggage screening systems

Date: 12.12.2015 Category: Airport Security


There exists a higher risk of terrorist attacks in the modern world. Weapons are being moved across borders, especially by use of land and sea. It is the responsibility of the port and border security system, as well as the inland security personnel to check the contents of any baggage to ensure the country is exposed to no risk. We exist in the world where   operational efficiency is what matters in everything and, thus, the entire procedure of baggage screening need to offer reliability, speed, and an unparalleled global support network.


Baggage screening system types


This involves a person manually inspecting the luggage of travellers. It is a labour intensive system that is still widely used. It is also time-consuming, taking an average of four minutes on every individual baggage. The method has, however, been justified because some security threats fall outside the scope of all the other baggage inspection devices and, thus, the need for manual inspection.

Metal detectors

A metal detector is a screening electronic device that detects the presence of metal in the baggage. Metal detectors are intended to expose metal inclusions that are hidden within objects, or those that are metal objects buried in some carried items. They consist of a handheld unit and a sensor probe that is usually swept over the objects and the luggage for metal detection. When the sensors detect metal or come near a piece of metal, the metal detector will indicate it by a change in the tone and a change in the colour of the light from green to red. One has to confirm whether the metal detected is a weapon or not.

X-ray devices

The X-ray devices adopt the x-ray technology typically used in the medical field for seeing through outer layers of baggage. Recent developments in the x-ray technology enable devices to view items from many angles, giving details of the materials in the baggage. It is also claimed that these devices have the ability to detect thin copper wire that is hidden behind a steel plate. Within the X-ray devices, there are methods used to distinguish between metals and plastic materials.

Explosive Detection Systems

They are also known as EDS and focus on detection of chemicals that can be used in explosives. Those that are commonly used in public places like airports and borders are based on vapour detection methods. They are of many kinds, with the classification based on the way of handling the particular explosive material detected by each. Commonly used are the handheld detectors and the walk-through detectors, which take an average of twenty seconds to identify chemicals that can be used in making explosives, carried in a piece of baggage.

Sniffer dogs

A well-trained dog (police dog) is able to detect odours beyond the scope of humans and machines. Security sniffer dogs can be trained to distinguish as many as 19,000 different kinds of explosive scents. One major advantage of using dogs is that there is a high level of visibility, making them very efficient deterrent against criminal elements. They, however, require close control of experts.