Troubling outlook drives delegates to Transport Security Expo

Tuesday, 21 September, 2010

London, 20 Sept 2010 - Transport Security Expo saw a significant upswing in visitor numbers during its first outing in the capital, over 2'000 attendees visited the exhibition and conference across the 2 days. The visitor hike reflected a heightened level of concern over high profile actual and attempted strikes against the system during the course of the year and emphasised the need to do more, often times with less as austerity measures begin to bite, to protect the travelling public and international commerce.

With transport security industry news for the year to date having been dominated with terrorist strikes against the air sector and the marked increase in acts of piracy on the high seas, inevitably the event was dominated by high level conferences focusing on the travails in the aviation and maritime sectors.

The operational failures that led to the attempted bombing of a Northwest airlines flight late last year have exposed the fact the aviation world is still wide-open to the machinations of those with intent to harm. A shift in tactics by pirates has demonstrated that a naval show of force alone is insufficient to prevent the seizure of vessels in the vast swathe of ocean where they maraud with apparent impunity.

A sense emerged during the course of the Transport Security Expo conference programme that the need for a step change in how the protection afforded the travelling public and international commerce is delivered has become much more acute and demands careful consideration in currently austere times.

A tour de force of the world's leading security solution vendors marked the Transport Security Expo exhibition out as best in class and ensured that almost all aspects of security relevant to the transportation sector were covered.

Vendors such as Smith, Rapiscan, L3 and AS&E had substantial presence, but so to did a number of the emerging technology companies such as Kromek and others. A paradigm shift of sorts has been ongoing in the marketplace.
With traditional hardware having reached the limits of capability, the shift is toward squeezing more out of the available data stream through high end, software driven, digital signal processing techniques. In a very real sense, the future in the security world lays within the software code on a disc.

The high number of visitors to the exhibition also reflected change afoot in the regulatory framework controlling delivery of security in the aviation sector. European Union (EU) regulation published in April of this year, sets the ground rules on multiple aspects of the process from the public facing screening for liquid threats through to behind the scenes screening of belly-hold cargo.

Many of the deadlines contained within the regulation are tight, a question remains whether they will be met, but it does seem likely they could drive a sales spike in the short term to medium term.

Standing room only left available during the open theatre technology workshop sessions, emphasised the eagerness amongst delegates and visitors to learn more about each of the solutions showcased and how they could be harnessed to enhance security across the board.

Transport Security Expo is one of the only such events to works closely with the leading industry bodies, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and very many others, to deliver a thought provoking conference and extensive workshop programme supported by one of the best exhibitions of its kind annually.

Transport Security Expo will next be held 13-14 September 2011.

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