The EU is providing yet more R&D subsidies for the Israeli security-industrial complex, this time for a €15 million project entitled “Total Airport Security System” (the EC contribution is €9 million).
The Verint-led consortium promises to deliver ”multisource labyrinth fusion logic enabling situational and security awareness of the airport anytime and anywhere” (or, in other words, “total surveillance”).
According to the project synopsis:
“TASS is a multi-segment, multi-level intelligence and surveillance system, aimed at creating an entire airport security monitoring solution providing real-time accurate situational awareness to airport authorities.
The TASS concept is based on integrating different types of selected real time sensors & sub-systems for data collection in a variety of modes, including fixed and mobile, all suitable for operation under any environmental conditions. TASS divides the airport security into six security control segments (environmental, cargo, people, airplanes, vehicle-fleet & facilities) each of them being monitored by various technologies that are fused together, creating a multisource labyrinth fusion logic enabling situational and security awareness of the airport anytime and anywhere. These fused control segments will be accessed through the TASS WEB-based portal by running a suite of applications making the airport security control centralized to all airport authorities. Information will be shared and synchronized between all of them in order to generate a comprehensive, real time, security overview for the airport C2, providing all the necessary features to assure a total no breach security environment. The integration will include the use of in-place technologies that will result in a cost-effective solution.
The TASS consortium consists of 3 main end users representing 16 airports and 16 technological partners, which bring together European SME s, industrial and academic partners, ranging from sensor design and electronic communications through to civil airport protection. The technologies will be tested at 3 airports including the hub airport Heathrow, an Israeli domestic airport and Athens airport, in order to cover a wide range of needs at different levels of airport protection. The main test at Heathrow airport will involve scenarios including 2 connected to the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London ultimately resulting in a high & smooth passengers flow”.
In addition to Verint, the TASS consortium includes Elbit Systems Israel, the Israel Airports Authority and Ernst & Young Israel. Other consortium particpants include BAE systems, BAA (the British Airport’s Authority) and technology providers Rapiscan, Alcatel and Skysoft.
However, not everyone is happy about the amount of funds that the EU is providing to Israel for “security research” purposes (see “Should the EU subsidise Israeli security?” and “EU must end funding of Israeli military research“).
And as anyone who has ever passed through an Israeli airport on their way to the Occupied Territories might well ask, should we really be looking to Israel as a model for European security?