Maria Hedden: Advancing the security checkpoint experience

by Maria Hedden on 12/16/2019

Maria Hedden, Vice President and General Manager of Security and Detection Systems (SDS), L3Harris, shares her insight around key industry trends in 2019 and looks to the future direction:

The aviation security industry is transforming its customer experience at the security checkpoints. The industry is moving towards leveraging Artificial Intelligence and integrated systems to limit the disruption for passengers while also increasing the security detection levels.

Historically the industry has relied upon individual isolated systems performing individual tasks whether that is divesting of bags, progressing people through body screeners or undertaking an explosive detection analysis. L3Harris is working with its customers to shift the focus from individual systems to leverage data analysis and look at the checkpoint as a single integrated entity.

How many times have you travelled and been diverted for additional screening? The technologies being developed by our engineers are designed to improve that. We are working to enhance algorithms that detect harmful materials and prohibited items while reducing the number of times a bag or individual is diverted falsely. All of this drives to improve the overall travel experience of passengers.

The industry is also revolutionizing the technology used for checkpoint baggage screening through the adaptation of CT technology. The application of this product will eliminate the need for passengers to remove their liquids or electronic devices from carry-on baggage. Over this past year, L3Harris has been proactively demonstrating this technology at several airports across the globe such as Schiphol, Bali and Haneda with great success.

L3Harris is recognized for having some of the best machine learning algorithms in the industry which support and enable more images to be assessed in a shorter time. Through the advancements of machine learning and detection, we are innovating the operational effectiveness of airports. This capability will also enable airports the ability to provide remote screening and increase passenger throughput while increasing detection levels.

In 2019, Security and Detection Systems has been integrated within the L3Harris Commercial Aviation Sector. We have been able to leverage the capabilities between the individual business units bringing together complete solutions to address airports’ security needs. We have acted as the key airport partner for checkpoint innovation to ensure the highest throughput while providing the best passenger experience.

Our products and systems are known as some of the best in the world and we are proud to help make aviation travel safer. 2020 and beyond looks hugely exciting for both the business and the wider aviation industry as we continue our work to create the checkpoint of the future.