Airport / 02 July 2015

Airports Are Getting Ready For ECAC3 Implementation Part 1

I’ve spoken recently in a blog on this site about ECAC3 – the new European Civil Aviation Conference Screening Regulations that came into effect in September 2014 - and how it will affect those responsible for airport security.

Just to be clear, the ECAC3 protocol supersedes the ECAC2 hold baggage screening standard for all new baggage handling systems installed after September 2014, while existing ECAC2 systems must be upgraded to comply with ECAC3 before September 2020.

The biggest change in the new standard is that, in a multi-layered system, it requires the use of CT (Computer Tomography) technology at level 1 – so, much earlier in the screening process - rather than at level 3.

The ECAC3 compliant system is the highest standard set by ECAC for the detection of explosive threats in passenger hold baggage, dramatically improving the baggage screening and evaluation process by reducing the error rate; and it does this by turning Levels 1-3 into a single level.

This is an impressive standard and in my next blog post, I’d like to talk about how airports are preparing for the changes by looking at one particular trial that was carried out recently. The trial had to be robust enough to be worthwhile, so it took place over several weeks during peak holiday time at one of the largest airports in the world, processing around 60 million passengers per year. I think you’ll find the results interesting.

About the Author

Christoph Oftring
Christoph Oftring

For two decades, Christoph Oftring has been responsible for sales, design and project management of baggage handling system installations in a number of major international airports around the world. In this blog, Oftring looks ahead and discusses future baggage handling concepts and technologies for existing and green field airports.


I guess it actually turns a 3 step process into a 2 step process, as under ECAC 2, Level 1 is automatic ECAC 2 machine screening, Level 2 is operator viewing and Level 3 is CT machine automatic. Under ECAC 3 this becomes 2 levels, i.e. Level 1 is automatic, fixed beam and CT scanner, and Level 2 is operator viewing, but of course with far better imaging (3D).

Lars Enger on
16 August 2015 at

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