Airport Business

OCT 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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12 airportbusiness October 2018 SAFETY By Chris McLaughlin Combat Insider Threats: How Technology Offers a Balanced Approach Technology provides a strong tool to mitigating safety issues inside airport facilities. In recent years, there has been a shift in the threat landscape. Attackers are zeroing in on new targets, including transportation hubs and as a result, millions of people are vulnerable. At airports in particular, although traditional aviation threats must still be considered, the threat landscape has been expanded to non-traditional areas of the airport. Airports have reacted to this change by implementing new regulations and guidelines for employees and travelers alike. Today, because of their complexity, airports require several security procedures and screening processes to keep both travelers and employees safe. Due to a number of high profile events involving insider threats in recent years, both the airports and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have recognized the need to identify new ways to defend against this new threat group. Back in 2014, in Wichita, Kansas, an avionics technician was arrested at the Mid-Continent Airport after he demonstrated a willingness to transport explosives to a secure part of the airport. That same year a former baggage handler smuggled guns onto passenger planes at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. More physical security protocols have been installed to protect the vulnerable areas of the airport however challenges do exist. As the TSA, airport authorities and airlines put an increased focus on identifying new employee screening processes, it’s important to understand the current procedures airports have in place today and why it’s been difficult to implement new ones. Let’s explore these two points further and also examine what airport managers should consider when reviewing potential solutions. Looking Beyond Identification Verification to Secure Access Points For decades, airport insiders have been given extensive access to almost all parts of the airport, with identification verification serving as the primary tool for screening airport employees. Although this process has been in place since the early 1970s, recent incidents have indicated that ID verification is not enough. Airports are exploring enhanced security procedures that will protect both the front door and the back door of the airport from physical threats. As the TSA, airport authorities, and airlines put an increased focus on identifying new employee screening processes, it's important to understand the current procedures airports have in place today and why it's been difficult to implement new ones.

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