aviation security

Aviation Security – Global Cooperation for Safety

The Scope of Aviation Security Cooperation

While global airline traffic dropped during the COVID pandemic, it is climbing again and expected to reach and exceed the 2021 count of more than 40 million flights that year. Global annual airline passengers are expected to reach 9.4 billion in 2024, certainly pointing out the grave importance of aviation security.

193 nations are members of ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, with the U.S. being one of 36 members of the Council in that organization. Much of the information, training, and procedural documentation concerning aviation security originates with ICAO. This illustrates the importance of aviation security and the global cooperation intended to make the industry as safe as possible.

Responsibility for Aviation Security

Overall, the airline operators are responsible for the safety of their passengers and equipment. However, security should be a concern for every employee in the aviation sector from top management to those processing baggage and cargo. When consulting with aviation management, training of all personnel in active and passive security activities involved in daily operations is important.

Referring to the ICAO aviation security procedures and global influence, the more that each member country and airline organization can standardize the most effective safety procedures, the better the expected result.

What are the Threats and Risks for Civil Aviation?

While risks and treats evolve rapidly, there is a general group of risks/threats that can include:

  • Terrorism, both organized and lone wolf activities
  • Industry and airline operator insider threats
  • Contraband smuggling and human trafficking
  • Risk to aircrew members during layovers from civil unrest
  • Operations and flights in proximity to restricted and conflict zones

Obviously, risk cannot be totally eliminated. The best results can be expected to include thorough knowledge of the risks, planning for them, and employing mitigation procedures to lessen negative impacts.

Aviation Security Management Systems – What and How

System is the keyword, as effective aviation safety is best managed with a carefully constructed, detailed, and globally shared system. Characteristics of this security management system include:

  • Detailed assessment of risks and threats, then prioritization of them based on liklihood and degree of damage
  • Develop mitigation procedures for each risk/threat considering appropriate ICAO practices as guidelines
  • Involving all management and employees that can implement procedures and training them accordingly
  • Following through with assessment of results and reporting them

A critical factor is to prioritize proactive over reactive measures. Governance and a leadership commitment is necessary, and responsibilities and accountability at all levels is crucial.

Key Elements of a Security Management System

  • Secure the commitment of management at all levels to:
    • Strategy and procedures
    • Planning and implementation
    • Reporting and accountability
  • Manage resources to include:
    • Training at all levels of involvement
    • Coordinate with appropriate law enforcement agencies
  • Assess risks/threats and manage them through:
    • Reporting incidents
    • Managing incidents according to system procedures
  • Emergency and incident management including:
    • Response to emergencies, roles and procedures
    • Apprpriate communication procdures and methods 
  • Quality control, including:
    • Hiring and managing service providers
    • Monitoring and constant improvement of procedures and reporting 

Note that every level and all operations involved in aviation security management stress the importance of accountability and reporting. Lives and livlihoods are at risk. Use the form below for a quick response from Rob and/or Mitch to answer your questions.

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Posted in Corporate Services, Global Security.