New airport passenger security screening system unveiled today at Shannon Airport


Passenger security screening time at Shannon Airport is expected to be halved with a new screening system part of a wider €17 million airport enhancement programme, writes Shauna McCrudden

Pictured: John Francis, Shannon Airport Security Manager. Pic: Arthur Ellis.

Fewer delays at an airport is always a good thing and that is set to happen at Shannon Airport as time spent going through passenger security screening is set to be halved. This is thanks to a new €2.5 million investment in a state-of-the-art security screening system being unveiled today, Monday, 18th October, at the airport.

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

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 touchpoints and will make the passenger journey through security quicker and easier.

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The project, which required considerable planning, took five months to complete. It involved the installation of the latest in security scanners by Rhode and Schwarz, and the installation of EDS for Cabin Baggage C3 X Ray technology by Smiths Detection, with an automated tray return system. In order to take delivery of the new equipment required for the project 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 were used to hoist over 22 tonnes of equipment into the building, a considerable engineering feat in itself.

Mary Considine says, “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’s hall in the terminal building. All of these projects are designed to futureproof the airport in the years ahead.”

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 and baby food, medicines and special dietary products that would previously have had to be put into clear sealed plastic bags and presented separate to hand luggage, can now remain packed in cabin bags. 

Pictured: John Francis, Shannon Airport Security Manager, and Dream Charoenpol, Security Superviser. Pic: Arthur Ellis.

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 means fewer trays per passenger. Therefore, less divesting, and less repacking, which means more time to avail of the airport’s retail and food and beverage offering. 550 passengers per hour can now be facilitated at each of four security screening lanes thanks to the new system, doubling on previous capacity.

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The installation and operation of this latest technology is a further boost to Shannon Airport. 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. This means the passenger is screened once to both regulatory standards and therefore eliminates the additional screening requirements which apply at other preclearance airports.

John Francis, Shannon Airport Security Manager adds, “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.”

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