World Security Report2019-05-13 12:05:49
UK funds trailblazing ideas set to shape the future of aviation and border security
A UK funding pot worth £4.5 million is available over the next 2 years for innovative solutions that can enhance the screening of people and goods and strengthen the detection of dangerous, illicit and contraband items.
The competition has been developed by the Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme – a joint initiative between the Home Office and Department for Transport (DfT) – and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) to encourage novel ideas that cover all aspects of aviation and border screening – from passengers to cargo, mail, hold bags and more.
With the global shift towards a more integrated transport system, greater autonomy and automation, the competition is also looking for innovations capable of bringing current and future security concepts together.
This could mean a more streamlined and non-intrusive screening experience for passengers and staff with security processes working together to screen individuals as they travel through an airport.
Aviation Minister, Baroness Vere said: "The UK has some of the most advanced aviation security in the world, and we must continue to make it safer and easier for everyone using airports. We want ambitious and innovative businesses to apply for funding to develop the security technologies of the future."
Screening passengers is an essential part of aviation security but threats to the industry are multifaceted and ever-evolving. By splitting the competition into 5 challenges the FASS programme is inviting innovators to think about different aspects of security.
This includes challenging academia and industry to develop measures that can enhance the screening of cargo, mail or hold bags for prohibited and contraband items and make it even tougher for these to be taken on board an aircraft.
The UK has one of the safest aviation systems in the world and has made one of the largest contributions to driving up global aviation security standards. This competition builds on the government’s commitment in both our Aviation strategy and Counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, to continually reinforce UK and international aviation security standards to ensure that the skies remain safer for everyone at home and abroad.
Security Minister, Ben Wallace said: "The FASS is continuing to fulfil its vital role of bringing government, industry and experts together to ensure that the UK continues to be amongst the best in the world at developing technologies which keep us ahead of the threats that we all sadly face. This competition will help to protect passengers by contributing to keeping dangerous and illegal items off our planes and bolstering our border security, whilst having the added benefit of improving their travel experience. We know that innovation is vital in our work to protect the British public from harm and that is why initiatives like this are so important."
The Home Office and DfT launched the FASS programme in 2016. This formed one part of the 2015 Strategic defence and security review commitment to double spending on aviation security.
FASS has funding of £25.5 million over 5 years to deliver a step change in aviation security by investing in innovative science and technology that will prevent illegal weapons, explosives and other threats from being taken onto aircraft.
The FASS programme aims to invest in early stage concepts as well as support novel products through all stages of development.
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