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Automated Security at Narita Airport in "Non-Stop Gate" Demonstration Test

Automated Security at Narita Airport in

An instruction drawing from Narita Airport for the trial security procedure.

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Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, outside Tokyo, will begin a demonstration test on March 18 of automated security checks for people entering the airport.

Since the airport opened in 1978, security checks have been conducted by security personal who personally inspect the bodies and belongings of visitors, but the introduction of the latest security system will automate the procedure. Narita plans to implement a "non-stop gate" method that allows visitors to enter the airport without having to stop.

The test will involve the installation of security cameras capable of matching pedestrians' faces with database records, high-performance hazardous material detection equipment and the like along roads and outside train station ticket gates at Terminal 2. This will eliminate the need to present one's identification and automate baggage screening. Meanwhile, security personnel will be immediately alerted if any suspicious persons or explosives or other hazardous materials are detected.

Narita's strict security checks, unseen at other major airports around the world, were initiated to counter the activities of a guerrilla group opposed to the airport's construction, but now they are more widely implemented as measures against terrorists who may target the airport and the aircraft that serve it. Security guards at six checkpoints located at airport rail stations and roads inspect IDs and conduct checks for hazardous materials of all people, including airport personnel and other people who work there. The airport and the relevant authorities are reviewing security screening procedures to improve operational efficiency and cut costs.

The test will last for about two months. Normal security checks will also be conducted during that time.

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