Perth, Aug 15, 2006 AEST (ABN Newswire) - The detention in London of individuals alleged to have plotted to blow up multiple airliners over the Atlantic Ocean has caused widespread disruption to the United Kingdom's aviation system. This has brought into sharp focus the pressing need for a wholesale re-evaluation of how airports do checkpoint screening worldwide.
While major advances have been made in many areas of aviation security, the deployment of technology and processes used in checkpoint screening have not kept pace with the developing threat. Current equipment and procedures are better suited to the prevention of hijackings rather than the detection of improvised explosives and suicide bombers. New technology, available now, that can detect improvised explosives and suicide bombers should be expedited and implemented quickly. Given that the threat trajectory has broadened substantially in recent years, it is incumbent upon all stakeholders including the responsible governments and regulatory bodies to address the limitations of checkpoint screening as a matter of urgency.
Former Head of Security of Heathrow Airport and QRSciences (ASX: QRS) Director, Mr. Norman Shanks said the lack of sophisticated carry on hand baggage screening remains the largest single threat to aviation security.
"The use of existing X-ray screening technology is deficient as it requires a significant amount of human analysis with room for mistakes," Mr. Shanks said.
"X-ray checkpoint screening needs to be complemented with new technologies that help to achieve substantial improvements in detection like Quadrupole Resonance (QR) developed by Australian company, QRSciences", he continued.
"QR technology utilises low frequency radio waves to detect a range of difficult to identify explosives providing the travelling public with greater confidence in aviation travel." concluded Mr. Shanks.
"Unfortunately the established method of screening passengers and their hand baggage is no longer effective. Terrorist groups have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to identify weaknesses in the checkpoint screening process and exploit them to their advantage" commented Kevin Russeth, Chief Executive Officer of QRSciences.
"The events of the past few days have underscored the urgency to re-evaluate current checkpoints and move rapidly toward comprehensive screening of passengers and their hand carried baggage for a much wider range of explosives in various configurations in addition to the search for more traditional weapon threats. It's important that a broad upgrade to both processes and technology is implemented to remove the systematic holes in the current capability. The piecemeal response of the past where screening processes have been adapted to narrowly counter the most recent incident is analogous to preparing to fight a battle in war after your opponent has changed his position. The groups seeking to do us harm will simply move on to exploiting another weakness in the system".
"A variety of technologies, processes and know-how to deal with this are available today. QRSciences baggage and shoe screening are an important part of this solution along with other complimentary technologies and process revisions. With the right measures it's possible to dramatically boost checkpoint screening performance and realize a screening system that's both operationally viable and without the systematic flaws that have allowed the tragedies and close calls of recent years" concluded Mr. Russeth.
QRSciences baggage screening technology has recently completed testing by the Transportation Security Administration, part of the US Department of Homeland Security and is now available worldwide direct from QRSciences and under license from Rapiscan Systems, a leading worldwide vendor of X-ray and other screening equipment.
In May, QRSciences announced it had completed an agreement to cross license a suite of patent and patent applications with GE Security, a business affiliate of the General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Under the terms of the license, QRSciences will earn royalties on GE products incorporating QRS' patented IP including GE's Quadrupole Resonance shoe scanner products which allow travellers to leave their shoes on when passing through airport checkpoints while providing automated detection of concealed explosives.
About Purple Communications
Purple's aim is to deliver high level and personal services in the development and implementation of stakeholder communications strategies recognized for their clarity, creativity, purpose and credibility.
QRSciences Holdings Limited