The challenge of airport security

Airports, Critical, Infrastruscture | News | December 27, 2016

Through an airport, thousands of people pass daily, both passengers and workers and visitors, there are thousands of flights with their landings and take-offs, thousands of luggage are managed, etc. And all this entails very high safety requirements.

Airport security is a booming priority since the events of 9/11 and, even more so, taking into account the latest terrorist acts at airports such as Brussels or Istanbul.

Who would have thought a few years ago that a risk at an airport could be the hijacking of a plane or a terrorist attack at a terminal?

These acts have revealed new vulnerabilities facing airports. We live in a world with increasing threats, to which we must be as prepared as possible to prevent events that endanger the integrity of passengers and infrastructures.

Airport security includes the safety of aircraft, passengers, infrastructures, baggage and ensure continuity of service against acts of unlawful interference.In this way, the security in Airports is with two slopes: on the one hand, the Physical Security and on the other, the Safety.
Physical Security is responsible for the control and protection of incidents of aircraft, infrastructures, property and persons against acts of unlawful interference.It includes protection against attacks, security in public access areas, security controls, luggage inspection, etc. While Safety refers to measures aimed at reducing the number of air traffic accidents and incidents, and includes the prevention of incidents such as runway exits during taxiing prior to take-off, avoiding accidents such as in-flight collisions with the ground, etc.

Of the total expenditure made by Airports, 6% (9 B $) corresponds to investment in Security and Safety and this percentage is expected to increase.
One of the most important items of this investment corresponds to Security Controls, a key point of passage for all passengers and one of the causes of greater dissatisfaction of these passengers throughout their journey through the airport. Airport managers are looking for alternatives to traditional security controls that increase security while reducing factors of dissatisfaction (queues and waiting times, taking off, etc.).

So far, normative and legislation has lagged behind events reactively. Today, airports face new challenges that need to be answered proactively and in real time. This is the big challenge.

It is necessary to prevent unauthorized access to restricted areas, to detect suspicious behavior, passengers with prohibited or illegal articles, to communicate with the State Security Corps and Forces, etc. All this, in a framework in which the passenger enjoys a positive customer experience and for which they need increasingly sophisticated equipment and advanced solutions where technology plays a fundamental role.

Begoña del Valle Pérez
Business Management