Helena, Montana Finds Airport Security Efficiency

28th Sep 2009
Helena, Montana Finds Airport Security Efficiency
Philip Bowman, chief executive of Smiths Group in London, has begun publicly complaining about the long security lines at European airports he frequents. In a speech in Brussels last week, he told his audience, “Sometimes I wonder whether the same energy and elan is always applied to relieving restrictions as is usually shown – for very good and understandable reasons – in imposing them.”

no liquids or gels

no liquids or gels

OK, so one of the divisions in his company designs and manufactures equipment to detect and identify explosives, weapons and contraband. And it just so happens the Department of Homeland Security is one of its major U.S. stakeholders. And he made headlines in the U.K. last year when he negotiated “first class where available” perks into his contract, a $10,000 pound car allowance and $336,000 pound pension every year in addition to his salary and bonuses.

Still, as self-serving as it may seem to advocate more countries adopt scanning technology at the airports, folks passing through Helena Regional Airport in Montana likely agree.

Late last week, it rolled out a CT-80 baggage screening machine by Reveal Imaging Technologies Inc. — equipment that can screen 225 bags per hour in an airport that typically serves just 350 passengers a day. The CT-80 works like an MRI machine does for medical purposes, scanning bags for explosives and other no-nos.


Now, we’re light years ahead of most Montana airports,” said Philip Stuczynski, the Transportation Security Administration’s screening manager at Helena. No, Mr. Stuczynski, apparently you are ahead of the many world airports Philip Bowman frequents.

Photography: Fabio Mascarenhas (Flickr)


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