Airport security is a massive market in developed regions, and Astrotech Corp (NASDAQ: ASTC) is flying as the doors to one of the largest of these markets, including 44 developed territories.

What’s The Deal With ASTC?

The story all surrounds Astrotech’s subsidiary, 1st Detect. The company announced that its new explosives trace detecgtor (EDT), known as the TRACER 1000, will enter the European Civil Aviation Conference’s (ECAC) Common Evaluation Process (CEP). The CEP surrounds the use of the TRACER 1000 for airport checkpoint screenings of passengers and cargo. Of course, if the evaluation goes well, ASTC will get the seal of approval from the ECAC, which is the equivilent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States.

What Is The TRACER 1000?

The TRACER 1000 is a product that was unveiled by 1st Detect and ASTC in January. The device detects trace amounts of explosives and narcotics through the usee of mass spectrometry (MS) technology. The MS technology ultimatley allows the system to rapidly detect and identify trace amounts of a wide variety of military, commercial-grade and homemade explosives as well as narcotic substances. Atrotechand 1st Detect boast the devices nearly zero false postive rate and robust threat library. As a result, the device will ultimately improve civillian safety at security checkpoints and optimize cargo and passenger throughput with rapid detection.

The Implications Are Massive Here!

As mentioned above, ECAC is the European regulator on aviation security. However, unlike the TSA, which only rgulates security in a single developed nation, the U.S., the ECAC regulates transportation security in 44 member nations, including all EU-member states as well as other regions including the Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, and several others.

Consider the significance of the CEP. If the TRACER 1000 makes it through the CEP with flying colors, it’s products will be approved to be placed in airports around the world, likely generating massive amounts of revenue upon approval. Not to mention, the CEP has such high standards for security equipment performance that non-ECAC States with their own testing programs recognize the value of CEP’s testing.  So, not only could the news mean that the door is opening to a market of 44 developed nations, but it could also open the door to a countless number of other opportunities in the aviation security space.

Management Is Excited

With such positive news, the management team at ASTC is clearly excited. Here are statements from members of the team that were offered in the press release announcing the coming commencement of the CEP with the ECAP:

We are pleased to be taking this major step toward European Qualification of our TRACER 1000, and are confident that our system will meet and exceed CEP performance standards. – Thomas B. Pickens III, CEO of 1st Detect and ASTC.

In addition to achieving TSA certification for passenger and cargo screening, both of which are on track, we look forward to having another major endorsement that serves to validate our system’s superior detection and security capabilities. – Raj Mellacheruvu, COO of 1st Detect and ASTC.

Management Isn’t The Only Excited Party Here

While Astrotech management is clearly excited, investors are jumping for joy beside the management team. This can be seen in the massive growth in the price of the stock. So far (11:37), ASTC has climbed 226.67% to make it to $6.37 per share.

An Opportunity In The Making

Considering the massive gains seen today, there is a chance that ASTC could see some declines in the market tomorrow as excitement starts to die down. Nonetheless, in the long run, the opportunity could be tremendous. If the TRACER 1000 makes it through the rigorous CEP testing and passes with flying colors, as management expects it to, the door will open to an incredible amount of revenue generating opportunities. Therefore, this may be nothing more than the tip of the iceberg.


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