This year the Security Panel had two high-level industry presenters focusing on “Conveying the future needs of Airports and the Realities of Security
Panelist: Leticia Monteagudo, Smart Security Airport Consulting and Pedro Avilas, Vision-Box Biometrics speaking at the International ACI-LAC Annual Assembly Forum in San Jose, Costa Rica on November 7-9 2017.
The “speaker-panelist-moderator” circuit, was held by Julio Cesar Siu, Deputy Regional Director, International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO (left in this photo).
This session examines the latest landside security regulations and industry risk-based approaches to mitigate security threats at airports. The security of public areas of airports, not within a security restricted area, has Become an increasingly high priority. Leveraging industry-government partnerships and working collaboratively to assess countermeasures and technologies are critical elements in enhancing aviation security.
The current threat and risk environment demand that aviation security remains among the highest of priorities for States and the global international community. Air transport is challenged by a number of security risks, is one of them the attacks on the landside areas of airports that have highlighted a growing threat to locations where members of the public and passengers circulate with minimal restrictions and congregate at predictable times. ICAO and the aviation community assesses landside threats to be credible and real.
As in being reflected in the proposed GASeP, (Global Aviation Security Plan) more clearly define and particularly in the GASep Roadmap, for enhancing risk awareness and response, States’ authorities work together with industry to most appropriately and effectively allocate responsibilities for the delivery of measures to counter the threat from landside attacks.
From past recent terrorist events of airports, a spate of terrorist attacks on airports in recent years has focused attention on the evolving risks passengers face – and highlighted the pressing need to enhance “landside” security in airports’ public spaces. Airports currently prioritize “airside” security, or the area accessible only to airport staff and passengers with boarding cards. A number of recent airport attacks have struck at “landside” however; the airport areas open to the general public.
This throws up a number of aviation security challenges: not least how to balance the need for airports to remain safe in the face of unconventional threats, with their role as gateways that need to remain open; airports should not be turned into fortresses. Collaboration with local or national authorities responsible for the security of landside spaces is crucial; in many instances airports own the real estate landside, but the responsibility for public spaces lies with local law enforcement.
There is also real scope for improved mechanisms to share threat information between security cleared airport staff and national security authorities; defining responsibilities and procedures for risk reduction in these semi-public spaces through regular communication, intelligence sharing and improved all-around collaboration.
Technology is an essential part of this awareness to screen vehicles and people as they approach airports. Random screening and spot checks landside in airports meanwhile provide additional security layers and may prove more effective than permanent infrastructure. Infrastructure and airport design features to mitigate the threat of attack should also increasingly be integrated into airport design. These can include blast proofing; the use of materials to minimize damage such as shatterproof glass; bollards, flowerpots and other structures to prevent drive-in attacks. So Better Landside Security is Crucial for Airports
Adding to this, Leticia Monteagudo’s comment included:
Domestic and International Aviation Security landscape will be tested over the coming years.
The airport’s landside is the travel journey’s first essential physical point of contact with the airport system. Passengers spend in average approx. 40 minutes on the landside incl. 45% of this time related to leisure activities. The publicly accessible landside host’s significant critical assets & bottlenecks that refer to unique vulnerabilities.
As aviation professionals, it is imperative to fully understand and embrace our shifting backdrop so that we can better prepare for the immediate future.
Consequences of Growth will bring Operational inefficiencies due to lack of situational awareness.
1-   Changing threats and risk mitigations will impact passenger screening.
2-   Operational inefficiencies due to lack of situational awareness.
3- Addressing Terminal Illness: Airport Infrastructure Design must be aligned with effective Security Measures.