Press Releases

Vision for the future of airport security in the wake of COVID-19

Smart Security Vision 2040 outlines a seamless airport security screening experience

Montreal, 30 June 2020 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has today released its Smart Security Vision 2040 which sets the foundation for achieving a seamless airport security screening experience in a post-COVID-19 operational reality.

This is part of the Smart Security programme which promotes concepts and solutions that take a risk-based approach, increase efficiency, and enhance the passenger experience, while also ensuring secure airport operations. It brings together a coalition of leading airports, regulators and airlines.

While the vision explores several long-term trends affecting aviation and airports, it takes full account of the present context of the economic and operational recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and the industry’s increased focus on health and cleanliness.

The Smart Security vison includes innovations such as artificial intelligence and the increasing use of big data and stand-off detection. These innovations that promote a more touchless, seamless approach to airport security screening – which has become an even more important objective during the current pandemic – have the potential to radically transform the way that passengers and baggage are screened.

“As the aviation industry continues to plan for a sustained recovery from unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, ACI believes that any initiative that utilises improved technology to facilitate touchless and more efficient passenger journeys needs to be accelerated,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe De Oliveira said.

“The objective of Vision 2040 is to not only highlight technology and processes available today, but to look into those of the future which consider the changing needs and expectations of passengers following the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.

“Smart Security aims to deliver effective security throughout the passenger journey, resulting in a seamless passenger experience and the ability to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach.”

To define the future of passenger and baggage screening, ACI World has been researching the market, seeking views from several industry experts in the field to evaluate potential advancements in aviation security screening. The new vision explores macro and micro level trends affecting airports, such as traffic growth, sustainability, passenger expectations, and evolving security threats and implications for airport infrastructure.

“We hope Smart Security Vision 2040 will inspire a range of stakeholders, from airports to governments and manufacturers, to engage in thoughtful discussions about how best to achieve a better airport security future especially as we plan our long term recovery from COVID-19,” Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

The document is intended to be continually edited and updated, and stakeholder input will be integral to its evolution.

Notes for editors

  1. Download the Smart Security Vision 2040.
  2. More information about ACI’s Smart Security programme.
  3. Stay up to date with ACI World’s COVID-19 communications through its dedicated news hub.
  4. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient, customer-centric and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2020, ACI serves 668 members, operating 1979 airports in 176 countries.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254