Research competition to detect concealed IEDs in electrical devices


The United Kingdom Department for Transport (DfT) is holding a competition that they hope will help to improve aviation security around the world. Encouraging innovative science and technology, they are looking for proposals for technologies that will prevent explosives hidden within electrical items in cabin baggage from being taken on board an aircraft. The UK government is committing £3 million to this competition; the initiative is part of the wider Department for Transport and Home Office Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme.

Since March 2017, laptops and other portable electronic devices (PEDs) have been highlighted as a risk to aircraft and passenger security, due to the threat of improvised explosive devices being concealed in them.  As a result, some countries have imposed restrictions on the ability of passengers to carry these items into the aircraft cabin. ICAO continues to review the combined security and safety risks to ensure a balanced and effective response on behalf of aviation globally.  This competition, which is open to all companies in all countries, supports ICAO’s coordinated global response to aviation security risks, and is in line with the DfT’s Global Aviation Security Plan to aid those efforts.

Improving technological resources and fostering innovation are at the core of the ICAO Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).  We, along with our Member States and stakeholders, believe in promoting the application of better technological solutions and innovative techniques that can enhance security effectiveness while ensuring operational efficiency.  Innovation initiatives and challenges such as the UK’s Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme Complex Concealment Competition drives AVSEC innovation and directly promotes and enhances technological advancements globally and in line with the GASeP Priority Actions.”, said Mr. Steve Berti, Chief, Aviation Security Policy Section, ICAO.

At the end of November an industry briefing was held in London for interested suppliers. To find out more information about this and other related outreach activities, contact Ms. Cathy West, FASS Stakeholder & Comms Lead, DfT, UK, at

Competition Details

General: Technologies are sought that will detect complex concealments, including solutions that can identify if electrical items have been tampered with

Challenge 1: Solutions for central search that can complement x-ray screening

Challenge 2: Portable solutions able to operate anywhere in the airport

Competition Process : Vendors can offer solutions into two competition tracks, depending on their technology maturity

Submission Deadline : Vendors must submit their proposals by 12 noon (UK time) on 17 January 2018. For additional information click here.