Soaring Airport Contraband: ScanTech Goes Public

As air travel rebounds from pandemic lows, ScanTechIdentification Beam Systems, LLC announced that it will be going public via a SPAC deal with Metro-Atlanta, Georgia, and Mars Acquisition Corp. The transactions values ScanTech at $150 million and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

“ScanTech believes it has developed one of the world’s most advanced non-intrusive fixed-gantry CT baggage and cargo logistics screening technologies,” according to the company’s press release. “ScanTech utilizes proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to develop state-of-the-art fixed-gantry CT scanners that accurately and quickly detect hazardous and contraband materials.”

ScanTech goes public as U.S. air travel has bounced back from the pandemic. Consumers avoided air travel during the Covid-19 outbreak in an effort to avoid the virus – but even as lockdowns lifted and the economy boomed, passengers were slow to return. It was not until 2023 that air travel in the U.S. has returned to 2019 levels.


This resurgence is in line with forecasts for the year. American Airlines, JetBlue, and Alaska Air each had predicted for 2023 high demand for public domestic travel along with further improvement in international travel. Reuters reported, “Airlines are cashing in as consumers snap up tickets following a pandemic-induced slump, making the industry a rare bright spot.”


Along with increased air travel comes increased contraband in passengers’ luggage. In fact, gun seizures have far outpaced the uptick in passengers. Even with the relatively paltry number of passengers in 2021, gun seizures at airports reached all time highs. That record was broken again in 2022, when gun seizures leapt another 9.5%.

ScanTechseeks to use its technology to better scan for contraband at airports – as well as at nuclear and energy plants, borders, ports, and freight facilities. Its technology scans inside baggage and other containers to detect areas of interest, which it then focuses on with “granular volumetric biopsies” in order to identify objects for the operator with a color-coded display.

According to Matterhorn’s comprehensive M&A database, which harnesses AI to track current and historical deals, ScanTech is represented by law firm Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP and the SPAC, Mars Acquisition Corp., is advised by VCL Law LLP.