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Adopting continuous improvement at airport security using the Checkpoint Innovation Model

Innovation at the security checkpoint relies on a change to people, process, system, and technology. Security checkpoints also strive to reduce operating costs while achieving a high level of security and customer service. Over the past decade, airport security checkpoints have transformed to embrace efficiency improvements to maximize security lane throughput.

A structured approach and methodology to enhance security checkpoint efficiency and effectiveness is required to address people, process, system, and technology changes. Addressing one area and neglecting the others may result in an unbalanced security lane with suggested improvements being for naught. For example, Security innovation that is only focused on technology improvements may not achieve target passenger throughput volumes if the other elements: people, process, system are not aligned.

At Bavel Consulting, we have developed the Checkpoint Innovation Model to help airport security management teams identify, quantify and implement innovation to the security checkpoint. The Checkpoint Innovation Model is a framework that enables all aspects of the security operation to integrate holistically—bringing together the operational, financial, and security perspectives to deliver an optimal operation. It provides a structured approach for continuous improvement, from the identification of improvements to delivery. There are four main parts to the Checkpoint Innovation Model, elaborated below.

Part 1: Develop the Strategic Vision & Goals

The first step is to define the strategic vision and goals of the checkpoint. It should be communicated and agreed by all stakeholders. The vision and goals should cover all areas of finance, operations, security, etc.

Part 2: Design the target operating model

With the vision and goals set, the next step is to define the for security effectiveness, operating efficiency, employee satisfaction, and passenger experience for the future checkpoint operating model using blank-canvas thinking.

Part 3: Assess the current capability and gap analysis

The third step is to evaluate the current state in each area and compare performance against the targets set in part 2. This will highlight the gaps that need to be overcome, which include people, process, system, and technology. Changes to multiple capability areas may be required to deliver on the targets and strategic vision which can be supported by data analysis, root cause analysis and simulation modelling. The outcome of this approach is an understanding of the gaps to get from the current state to the target operating model.

Part 4: Test and implement sustainable solutions

The final step in the Checkpoint Innovation Model is to design fit-for-purpose solutions and then discover what is available in the market. Before the solution is implemented, we focus on ensuring sustainability which may require live operational testing.

If you would like to learn more about how the Checkpoint Innovation Model can be adopted to your security checkpoint, please contact us at


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