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TSA – ACI EUROPE agree in principle to open architecture for security screening technology throughout Europe

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The chief executives from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International), and airport and industry stakeholders, including London Heathrow, Avinor, and the European Organization for Security (EOS), met in Brussels to endorse their continued collaboration and address open architecture for airport security systems.

Worldwide, transportation security equipment is moving towards a concept of open architecture, which is a technological framework that facilitates collaboration, shared resources and an outcome in which common goals are achieved.

Implementing open architecture principles into the security screening system will focus on open data formats, standard interfaces, and the establishment of an operationally viable and cyber-secure approach to security systems. Open architecture principles will facilitate uniform standards and an agile response to emerging threats.

“Technology and innovation within transportation security is evolving at a rapid pace, and open architecture promises to improve how all transportation security agencies share data, integrate emerging technology at speed, remain cyber resilient and advance our mission,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske. “We remain committed to innovation and working collaboratively with our partners to increase the security baseline and improve the traveling experience.”

Director-General of ACI EUROPE Olivier Jankovec agrees with the cooperative approach.

“This is a collaboration that has reaped not only meaningful synergies today, but has the potential to unlock future applications, partnerships and solutions that we cannot even yet imagine. The combination of our partners’ security pedigree teamed with ACI EUROPE’s guiding hand and expertise in seamless airport innovation, secures not only technological transformation but consumer protection – the cornerstones of progress. The fact that security equipment manufacturers have now joined our dialogue speaks volumes for our vision and the standards we are setting,” he said.

Over the past several months, TSA has been working in collaboration with its international partners and stakeholders to update the “Open Architecture for Airport Security Systems” document, initially published in July 2020. TSA was among the signatories of that document.

In tandem, to ensure that the objectives and benefits set out in this original document could be achieved, ACI EUROPE partnered with the European Organization for Security to establish a structure where stakeholders can collaborate and develop the necessary technical recommendations and address questions on key areas, including liability and the protection of intellectual property.

The excellent collaboration between the different stakeholders, including the security equipment manufacturers, has enabled the group to achieve significant steps forward, most notably in identifying technical options that would allow manufacturers to comply with the open architecture principles.

The partners are actively working to implement open architecture principles into the security screening system, focusing on open data formats such as Digital Imaging and Communications in Security (DICOS), standardized interfaces, and establishing an operationally viable and cyber-secure approach to accessible property screening, on-person screening and identity verification.

TSA and ACI EUROPE are committed to further collaboration among the broad coalition of aviation security stakeholders to improve the security baseline and strengthen cybersecurity defenses within the extensive global transportation network.



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