Explosives detectors to be installed at more UK airports

21 November 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
mage from an active millimetre wave body scanner designed to detect non-metallic explosives

Image from an active millimetre wave body scanner designed to detect non-metallic explosives [Credit: US Department of Homeland Security]

Further airports across the UK will be equipped with scanners capable of detecting homemade explosive devices as the UK government believes there is a ‘substantial’ risk of an attack.

Eleven airports including Stansted, Luton, Cardiff, Belfast City, Aberdeen, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds, will receive the scanners that use millimetre wave technology, which, unlike X-ray, has no known health risks.

“All security scanners deployed now use automatic threat recognition software, which means that no image of a passenger is produced, thus alleviating any residual health or privacy concerns,” said UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

"The overwhelming evidence from airports is that nearly all passengers accept the use of security scanners and find the process quick and convenient.”

He said an alternative private search procedure will be introduced for those passengers, who, for any reason, feel uncomfortable to undergo milimetre wave screening. Until now, passengers rejecting the screening where not allowed to board the flight.

The scanners were introduced at airports including London’s Heathrow in response to the threat to aviation posed by non-metallic improvised explosive devices, such as that used in the attack on the Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

In that incident, a 23-year-old Nigerian attempted to ignite an explosive device strapped to his leg by injecting acid into it. Though the explosion failed, the attacker suffered severe burns before being overpowered by a fellow passenger and taken control off by the crew.

A similar attempt was thwarted in 2012 in Yemen, also regarding a plane heading to the USA. On this occasion the attacker was discovered before boarding the flight.

According to McLoughlin, homemade explosive used in these incident were designed to allow the attacker to conceal the device from scanners commonly used at that time.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Digital Forensic Specialist (Audio)

    Met Police
    • London
    • Circa £37,305 plus £3,406 location allowance

    You’ll contribute to a wide range of research and development activities.

    • Recruiter: Met Police

    Apply for this job

  • MetOp-SG Receiver Project Manager

    Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire
    • £37,213 - £50,926 (depending on experience)

    Project Manager to oversee the development, production and test of spaceflight components and integrated receiver systems

    • Recruiter: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Engineer

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    Perform general systems engineering tasks as necessary with specific focus on electronic systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Production Manager

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    An amazing opportunity to plan, direct and coordinate all manufacturing operations and activities in line with company strategy and business plan.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Navigation Sensors Principle Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity? An exciting opportunity has arisen in a rapidly evolving international team with increasing capabilities.  The Navigation Sensors Group is responsible for the...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Technology Manager - External Communications

    BAE Systems
    • Frimley, England, Surrey
    • Negotiable

    Technology Manager - External Communications Would you like Lead the technical delivery of the External Communications System (ECS) capability sustainment & evolution projects within the common ECS (cECS) Baseline Design Management (BDM) programme? Th

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Graduate Process Engineer

    EFFECT Photonics
    • Brixham, Devon
    • £20,000 to £25,000

    Join our exciting journey to deliver new standards in the availability of data bandwidth.

    • Recruiter: EFFECT Photonics

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Principal Materials Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive salary & benefits

    What?s the opportunity? A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an experienced materials engineer/scientist specialising in non-metallic materials and processing. You will be given responsibility for...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate

    The University of Liverpool
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • £32,600 - £37,768 pa

    Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in a brand new area of communications.

    • Recruiter: The University of Liverpool

    Apply for this job

  • Test Engineering Opportunities

    HMGCC
    • Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes
    • Salary offered will depend on skills and experience

    Push incredible innovations beyond their limits. Opportunities for Software, Hardware, EMC, Test and Inspection Engineers!

    • Recruiter: HMGCC

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T