SAFETY AT THE AIRPORTRecognize possible threat situations
The airport is the crucial hub for the transportation of people and goods. Therefore, safety has the highest priority here. The role of airport security is to screen passengers and baggage to ensure that no dangerous items or unauthorized goods are being transported. The detection of drugs, illegal narcotics and explosive substances is also one of the main tasks of security personnel.
The security procedure at the airport is familiar to anyone who travels by plane: since 1980, all passengers and all hand luggage have been screened here. This is done both at check-in and at the security checkpoints in front of the gates. In addition, random checks are always carried out.
In order to ensure the safety of passengers and employees in airports, there is a great need on the part of security forces for reliable analytical methods for rapid, reliable substance detection. Reliable analytical instruments are available depending on requirements, application possibilities and budget.
The check-in with security gate is followed by the screening of hand luggage. In a few cases, a more detailed analysis is necessary to examine suspicious traces of illegal substances such as drugs, chemical substances or explosives. For this purpose, the safety personnel have various analytical instruments with different analytical methods (Raman spectroscopy, near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) or ion mobility spectrometry (ITMS)) at their disposal.
To detect these substances, in most cases a small superficial sample is taken from the affected baggage or the passenger’s clothing. This is done by means of a sample strip, which is then pushed into the detection device. Traces in the nanogram range are already sufficient for an analysis. Regularly updated, cloud-based databases with, in some cases, more than 13,000 registered substances provide the user with reliable results. If drug or explosive residues are detected, security personnel immediately become active.