Siemens Mobility, Fraport AG, Frankfurt, and Fraunhofer IML have signed a license agreement for the marketing of the security lock SAATS (Secure Advanced Air Cargo Transfer System). This patented checking system enables the speedy and secure transfer of ULDs (Unit Load Devices) into the sensitive apron area (critical parts) of airports. Siemens will be the exclusive supplier of this system worldwide.
It is standard practice at airports to use so-called dolly trains to transfer cargo containers and pallets from the landside area to the critical parts. First, the incoming trucks are unloaded on the landside and the cargo is placed in a temporary storage location. Then, the dolly train driver and the cargo have to pass through a security lock on each trip to the aircraft and likewise undergo a security check each time. The procedure is not uniform at all airports but is handled in a many different ways.
This new SAATS system—a solution jointly developed by Fraport AG and Fraunhofer IML—now enables the easy and secure transfer of ready-for-flight ULDs into the security area of the airport apron or airside. Traffic on the landside is ‘disconnected’ from traffic on the airside. Flight-ready ULDs delivered by truck from the landside are checked immediately and are then either stored temporarily or taken directly to the aircraft by dolly train as explained above. The user benefits from an improved cargo transfer process and a high security standard. Moreover, the number of personnel is reduced and the previously customary, recurring and cost-intensive personnel and vehicle checks are no longer necessary. As a result, the hourly cargo throughput between critical and non-critical parts is increased. This process involving a clearly defined transfer interface has been patented as a procedure.
Security features such as particle scanning, thermophotography or measuring and weighing functions can also be integrated into the system.
“SAATS makes it possible to combine the stringent security checks of the worldwide cargo hubs with an efficient process for secure and low-cost container transfer,” said Bernd Ruppert, head of the Cargo & Parcel Business Segment in Siemens Mobility.