Amphion Innovations (LON:AMP) said its key partner company Kromek has reached a significant milestone, securing official EU certification to provide colour x-ray liquid detection systems to all European airports.
This means that all airports on the continent are free to buy and implement Kromek’s Bottle Scanner product, marking the first time that airports can purchase tested, approved, and secure technology, allowing them to relax the liquid ban.
The technology is set to loosen up security restrictions for air passengers as it will eliminate the ban on carrying liquids on flights by April 2013.
By April 2011, liquid items bought in transit will be allowed on board, providing the appropriate security measures, such as screening, are in place at the airports concerned.
The results of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) led trials have proven that the technology is ready to allow the 2011 regulatory deadline to be met by the airports.
Kromek called the achievement a milestone in the company’s history.
“It's a significant milestone for Kromek as the approved listing is vindication that colour x-ray detection has been proven," said chief executive of Kromek Arnab Basu.
“The next generation of X-ray technology has arrived, with a market ready machine that can detect liquid threats.”
Kromek's Bottle Scanner has qualified as a Category B device that has achieved Type 1 and Type 2 100% capability and been officially tested, verified and authorised by ECAC.
The threat from Liquid, Aerosol and Gel (LAG) based explosives became apparent in August 2006 following discovery of a plot to use such devices aboard multiple transatlantic flights.
Kromek also noted that liquid is becoming a common tool for terrorist use, further increasing the relevance of its technology.
“Our groundbreaking technology not only provides products to the airline security market but has the opportunity for development into a range of products for many highly lucrative markets such as medical and industrial fields,” said Basu.
Kromek is seen as the likeliest partner company of Ampion to be the next to become publicly traded.
According to Ampion chief executive Richard Morgan, the earliest the business can be floated would be during the first quarter of 2011, at which point Amphion’s 16% stake should be worth far more than the last valuation of £9 million.
For comparison, Amphion’s current market cap is around £10 million.
Meanwhile, Kromek itself managed to raise £12.3 million in an oversubscribed financing in March this year.
It has also bought California-based NOVA R&D, which added a number of imaging and detection technologies in the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear space to the enlarged business, as well as what Amphion calls significant commercial relationships.
Investors clearly liked the news, as shares in Amphion rose more than 14% in early trade to 8 pence.