European airport operators are still issuing tenders as the clock ticks down towards ECAC Standard 3 compliance
Airports in mainland Europe and Ireland are racing against time to upgrade their inline hold baggage screening (HBS) systems to ECAC Standard 3 by September 2020, although some will benefit from a grace period until September 2022 to comply with EU Regulation 1087/2011.
While Standard 3 explosives detection systems (EDSs) deliver richer data to the operator, with 3D computed tomography (CT) images of bags compared with 2D depictions in the legacy Standard 2 technology, several factors have limited the appetite for airports to install the new-generation machines: in some cases, it is expensive to reconfigure baggage halls to accommodate Standard 3 equipment; such upgrades have the potential to disrupt essential everyday operations; and only a few certified Standard 3 systems can match the 0.5 m/sec scanning speed of Standard 2 machines. Some airports lack the specialist experience to implement Standard 3 successfully, while others only recently upgraded to Standard 2 and are therefore unwilling to invest again.
These issues aside, the technology has evolved with more machines certified to the slightly more exacting Standard 3.1 performance standard, which focuses on higher detection performance of a broader range of materials. In February and March 2019 respectively, the L3 MV3D and Smiths Detection CTX 9800 DSi scanners joined the NUCTECH XT2100HS, Smiths Detection HI-SCAN 10080 XCT, and SureScan x 1000 as Standard 3.1-certified machines.