The cream of passenger screeners employed at Rome Fiumicino and the airports of Naples, Prague, Ljubljana, and Riga came to Budapest to compete in the international championship called ChallengAir organized by Budapest Airport. Participants had to prove their theoretical skills first in the state-of-the-art training center of the airport that was handed over recently. The second challenge was to find twenty out of a hundred X-ray images which contained prohibited items representing a threat to aviation security. Lastly, teams were required to solve a situational exercise: each contestant was supposed to find prohibited items concealed in the clothing and baggage of a fake passenger within 5 minutes.
In addition to security professionals of Budapest Airport, the top brass in the Aviation Security Department of the Airport Police Directorate were also involved in compiling the tasks for the contest. The jury panel and professional supervision were provided by the representatives of the Airport Police and the Office for Air Transport of the Ministry of National Development.
Out of the three-strong teams, the team of Rome Fiumicino achieved the best result, the team of Budapest Airport came in second, followed by the team of Riga.
The international contest of security screeners started out as an in-house competition at Budapest Airport three years ago. István Szabó, chief security officer of Budapest Airport said it became obvious right at the outset that it would be worthwhile to take the professional contest to an international level. István Szabó also highlighted that the security of airports and aviation is provided for by EU regulations, and therefore passenger screeners perform their work in line with the same stringent rules in all member states under the supervision of national authorities. He added, “All participating airports sent their very best to Budapest where they did confirm that airports indeed do everything they can to guarantee the security of passengers as well as airlines.”