Having begun on 01. September 2012, the EU FP7 funded project XP-DITE (New integrated approach for airport security checkpoints) has been conducting research in the field of aviation security. Its main goal is to develop a new and balanced approach for the design and evaluation of airport checkpoints, which would not just meet growing security needs, but would balance these with operational demands as well as ethical and societal requirements.

Background of the project

Finding the right balance

As a result of past incidents such as criminal or terrorist activities, and as a result of the identification of new threats, security has become one of the main issues in aviation. As ever more measures are being introduced, however, this increasingly prompts the question of finding the right balance between security needs and the impact on the aviation sector, on passengers privacy and on society as a whole.

New requirements for airport checkpoints

Airport checkpoints are at the heart of aviation security. The participants of XP-DITE are convinced that there is a need for checkpoints that provide a high level of security in a flexible and efficient manner, in order to reduce cost and impact on passenger throughput. At the same time, checkpoints will need to address the needs of passengers, in particular from an ethical and societal perspective.

In XP-DITE, the Centre for Security and Society will cooperate with a range of  research and development organizations, airports, and industrial partners from several European countries. The project will run for 55 months and it is coordinated by C. Jaap de Ruiter.

The goal of XP-DITE and the role of the Centre

The aim of XP-DITE is to develop, demonstrate, and validate a comprehensive approach to the design and evaluation of checkpoints. This approach will balance the main aspects of performance: security compliance, ethical compliance, operational cost and passenger satisfaction. Furthermore, the approach will overcome current security regulations' focus on equipment components and specific screening procedures within an airport checkpoint. Instead, XP-DITE's balanced approach will allow for the evaluation of an airport checkpoint as a whole.

At the University of Freiburg's Centre for Security and Society, we lead the tasks related to developing a framework for the identification and evaluation of ethical and societal risks of airport screening. Our main research focus is on aspects of privacy and fundamental rights, as well as on societal acceptability and acceptance. As part of XP-DITE's balanced approach, this framework will allow for ethical and societal considerations to guide the design process of airport checkpoints from the very beginning. The development of the ethical evaluation framework will be conducted by Sebastian Volkmann.


Find more information on the project's homepage

Supported by:

Duration: 01.09.2012 - 31.12.2017
Project management: Prof. Dr. Hans-Helmuth Gander
Support: 7th EU-Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development
Scientific Assistance: Sebastian