The term Aviation security is used to refer to a system of procedures and processes employed to ensure that security in the aviation industry is enhanced to provide protection to passengers, staff, and planes which carry passengers and cargo. The widespread growth of the aviation industry came with its share fair of challenges, and one particular issue has been the subject of security. The large traffic of people that pass through airports has made air transport to be a hot target for attacks launched against normal civilians. The high vulnerability of airports to attack necessitates the need to tighten aviation security. This paper will discuss a case analysis focused on Aviation Security.
The issue of aviation security is a sensitive subject that demands to be given the serious attention. The aviation industry has been rocked and plagued by many cases of attacks that have resulted in the deaths of many innocent passengers. The gaps in airport security were first exposed in 1931 when the first hijacking incident was reported. In 1969, the hijacking of planes had become so prevalent that the year witnessed a record 82 cases of hijacking globally (Price, 2016). Some people faulted the private sector for not providing effective security in the early attack cases. The introduction of screening systems did little to curb the incidence of these attacks.
The frequency of the attacks directed towards the aviation industry called for an immediate intervention to find ways of addressing the issue. There were legitimate concerns that airplanes could now be used as a weapon to attack and cause harm to larger populations of people. The September terrorist attacks against the U.S. confirmed these fears as in those unfortunate incidents; airplanes were used to cause destruction and bring an end to many lives. These attacks exposed the security lapse in the aviation industry and prompted the speedy implementation more stringent security measures such as the installation of X-ray machines at various checkpoints, fitting metal detectors, and including plain clothes security officers in flight travel.
Although over the last few years there have been several reforms made to improve aviation security, there is still a lot left that needs to be done. For example, it is important to have a large number of security personnel to reinforce the process of screening traveling passengers when there is a lot of traveling especially during holiday times. It is also important to boost security in private airplanes as terrorist have shown that they would spare no money to cause havoc. Lastly, it is important that all individuals tasked with the responsibility of enhancing security to be regularly trained in conducting simulations to eliminate the risk of ill preparations when a serious attack takes place.
There has been a fierce debate over which body is more suitable and better placed to manage matters of airport security. On one side those in support of the government run system hail it as the best system in that it reserves operational power to the government allowing it to make important decisions without having to consult other parties. However, there have been complaints that the government’s management of airport security has been tainted by several inconveniences in the smooth operations of the airport activities. TSA security procedures cause a lot of delays, and many passengers end up missing their flights (Price, 2016). This is because TSA is unable to quickly adjust its staff in times in times when a lot of people are traveling. The TSA came to the picture after the ghastly September 2001 events which prompted the government to assign a special body to manage airport security.
Proponents of privately run airport security argue that private security firms will bring an end to inconveniences caused by missing flights as private screeners can process travelers at a faster rate compared to TSA. They also maintain that private security management will give airlines the independence and flexibility to operate their business without compromising on security as the firms first have to be vetted by the TSA before they can provide security services in any airport (Price, 2016). The major concerns raised against hiring private security services is that airlines being in the industry for business they might cut down on spending and implementing proper security measures in their desire to maximize revenues (Stewart, 2013). San Francisco Airports is a perfect example that private firms can also step up and provide effective security. The airport’s security has been placed under the watchful and capable eye of a reputable private security firm known as Covenant Aviation Security.
The safety of traveling by planes is no longer guaranteed as each day brings with its risks of an attack taking place. Airports have unfortunately become soft targets for attacks. Considering that airports are channels where people with bad motives attempt to get away with the ill intentions, it is now more than ever important to ensure that the security measures put in place are capable of suppressing the challenges encountered.
- Price, J. (2016). Practical Aviation Security: Predicting and Preventing Future Threats. Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Stewart, M. (2013). Terrorism risks and cost‐benefit analysis of aviation security. Risk Analysis, 33(5), 893-908.