The Government is providing £1m for UK universities researching new aviation security solutions.
The cash comes from a joint initiative between the Department for Transport (DfT), the Home Office and the Connected Places Catapult.
The Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme is offering the cash to universities through Industrial PhD Partnership (IPP) grants, which will bring industry and academia together to mentor students with enterprising ideas ‘to create seamless movement of passengers and cargo in the airports of the future’.
The funding programme will focus primarily on aviation security. Officials said the FASS IPPs will also enhance the UK’s national security expertise by creating a pool of highly-skilled researchers.
Transport minister Baroness Vere (pictured, centre) said: ‘The safety and security of everyone travelling is our highest priority and the UK is internationally recognised as a centre for aviation security.
‘This valuable funding ensures our world leading universities continue to create a pool of highly skilled individuals, with the right expertise vital for our national security.’
Under the programme, successful students will have academic and industry supervisors to help them to build contacts across the aviation sector and gain relevant work experience that could lead to employment opportunities.
Officials said that as well as contributing to national security by improving the UK’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks, the FASS IPPs could lead to the creation of new products and services that enable faster, more effective airport screening processes.
Earlier this week Number 10 said the public would benefit from quicker and easier airport security checks after prime minister Boris Johnson announced plans for all major UK airports to introduce new 3D cabin baggage screening equipment.
The DfT now requires all major UK airports to have the technology by 1 December 2022.
Heathrow Airport is currently trialling the (CT) equipment, which will be ‘gradually rolled out’ at other UK airports. CEO John Holland Kaye (pictured, left) said: ‘We’re proud to be at the forefront of this new generation security equipment. This technology will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the UK’s only hub airport.’