Technologies for Primary Screening in Aviation Security

Published in: Journal of Transportation Security (2022). doi: 10.1007/s12198-022-00248-8

Posted on RAND.org on July 21, 2022

by Amado Cordova

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In this article we examine technologies currently in use and emerging technologies that have potential for use in the primary screening of carry-on baggage, checked baggage and air cargo. We start the article by surveying the trend followed by terrorist attacks and attack attempts on civil aviation in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the most recent trend, malicious agents have attempted, successfully or unsuccessfully, to smuggle explosive materials into both types of baggage and cargo. Thus, current screening systems focus on the detection of these threats and in helping operators in preventing that these threats be carried or loaded into aircraft. The main body of the paper consists of an examination of screening technologies that can raise an automated alarm if a suspicious item such as a potential explosive or explosive precursor is present in baggage or cargo.

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