Practical Aviation Security
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Practical Aviation Security

Predicting and Preventing Future Threats

Jeffrey Price, Jeffrey Forrest

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  1. 598 pages
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Practical Aviation Security

Predicting and Preventing Future Threats

Jeffrey Price, Jeffrey Forrest

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About This Book

Practical Aviation Security: Predicting and Preventing Future Threats, Third Edition is a complete guide to the aviation security system, from crucial historical events to the policies, policymakers, and major terrorist and criminal acts that have shaped the procedures in use today, as well as the cutting edge technologies that are shaping the future. This text equips readers working in airport security or other aviation management roles with the knowledge to implement effective security programs, meet international guidelines, and responsibly protect facilities or organizations of any size.

Using case studies and practical security measures now in use at airports worldwide, readers learn the effective methods and the fundamental principles involved in designing and implementing a security system. The aviation security system is comprehensive and requires continual focus and attention to stay a step ahead of the next attack. Practical Aviation Security, Third Edition, helps prepare practitioners to enter the industry and helps seasoned professionals prepare for new threats and prevent new tragedies.

  • Covers commercial airport security, general aviation and cargo operations, threats, threat detection and response systems, as well as international security issues
  • Lays out the security fundamentals that can ensure the future of global travel and commerce
  • Applies real-world aviation experience to the task of anticipating and deflecting threats
  • Includes updated coverage of security related to spaceport and unmanned aerial systems, focusing on IACO (International Civil Aviation Organization) security regulations and guidance
  • Features additional and updated case studies and much more

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Chapter 1

Overview of the aviation industry and security in the post-9/11 world

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the national aviation system and an introduction to the development and environment of aviation security after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Readers will gain insight to the national aviation system and its importance to society. A fundamental framework describing the roles of airports, aircraft operators, and regulatory agencies involved in sustaining effective aviation security is presented. Fundamental to modern aviation security strategies and methods are lessons learned from the 9/11 attacks. Aviation security practitioners and students of aviation security should have at least an elementary understanding of the circumstances surrounding 9/11. Therefore, a case study describing the events of 9/11 and integrating concerns of aviation security is also provided.

Keywords

Airport Security Program; Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001; Federal Aviation Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Federal Security Director; The 9/11 Commission Report; Transportation Security Administration

Objectives

This chapter provides an overview of the national aviation system and an introduction to the development and environment of aviation security since the September 11, 2001 (9/11), terrorist attacks. Readers gain insight to the national aviation system and its importance to society. A fundamental framework describing the roles of airports, aircraft operators, and regulatory agencies involved in sustaining effective aviation security is presented. Fundamental to modern aviation security strategies and methods are lessons learned from the 9/11 attacks. Aviation security practitioners and students of aviation security should have at least an elementary understanding of the circumstances surrounding 9/11. Therefore, a case study describing the events of 9/11 and integrating concerns of aviation security is also provided.

Introduction

Despite other targets, terrorists remain fascinated with aviation. Throughout most of the history of aviation, terrorists and criminals have used aircraft and airports to conduct many forms of unlawful activity. Examples include special-interest groups or terrorists using aviation to gain geopolitical attention and criminals using commercial aviation or general aviation (GA) to smuggle drugs, weapons, cash, and stolen goods. In these cases, aviation has provided a public stage for the former and an expedient distribution channel for the latter. Aviation is essential to sustaining the economic viability of world commerce, the movement of people and cargo, and the flow of information and knowledge throughout society. Therefore, those responsible for protecting the aviation industry must be proactive in developing and implementing strategic and tactical systems that are effective in mitigating criminal and terrorist activity. Since the terrorist threat is always evolving, aviation professionals must be proactive in predicting future threats.
The aviation industry is composed of a series of overlapping operational areas or a “systems of systems” that security personnel must protect. Examples include the management of passenger needs, such as parking, baggage check-in, and screening (Fig. 1.1), along with other requirements, such as health concerns or guarding secured areas. Those responsible for each area must work in harmony to maintain aviation as an effective form of global transportation. Evaluating effectiveness in aviation security requires a variety of methods—from ratios used to develop metrics measuring baggage throughput or passenger flow, to extensive security evaluations conducted by various government agencies and private corporations.
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Figure 1.1 Passengers go through security screening at Denver International Airport.
Aviation is an effective and efficient mode of transportation affecting worldwide social and economic stability. In a little over 100 years, aviation has completely changed the way people travel around the planet. The entire world is now reachable in a matter of hours, and the miracles of today’s world would not be possible without aviation. In the IMAX movie, Living in the Age of Airplanes, narrator Harrison Ford says: “What was once a migration, is now a vacation.” As a symbol of modern commerce and prosperity, aviation is a highly desirable target to terrorists and criminals.
The ability of aviation to move people and property faster than competing forms of transportation is essential to its economic viability. The Internet and related technologies such as videoconferencing and telecommuting provide additional options to transport information, knowledge, products, and services. The advantage aviation has over rail, trucking, and watercraft is speed, whereas its advantage over videoconferencing is that people generally prefer face-to-face communication.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it was thought that if there was another major terrorist attack on aviation, travelers would shift modes to different forms of connecting, such as videoconferencing. While that has yet to occur, sustained criminal or terrorist activity on aviation often causes a temporary shift in passenger demand from airline travel, of which business travel is a significant percentage, to alternate forms of interaction or travel, such as videoconferencing or traveling via privately owned or chartered aircraft. These changes in demand for transporting people, cargo, or information could present airlines with serious economic challenges. Had several additionally planned terrorist attacks, such as the shoe bomber in 2001, the liquid bomb plot in 2006, and the underwear bomber attempt in 2009, been carried out, more people might switch to alternate forms of connecting, at least until their confidence in the system is restored.
If business travelers switch to alternate modes of travel, commercial airlines will have to increase the cost of tickets to those passengers (usually leisure travelers) who cannot afford business rates. As costs increase, leisure travelers may not be able to afford air travel, resulting in more “staycations,” which do not require air travel. Airlines would then have to raise prices to compensate, as more leisure flyers switch to ground transportation. Additionally, many industries, such as the hotel, rental, and tourist industries, rely heavily on air transportation for their businesses to be successful. Repeated attacks on aviation could lead to a significant restructuring of commercial aviation.

The Cost of Failing to Protect Aviation and the Importance of Threat Response

Despite its complex nature, the aviation industry’s primary infrastructure consists of aircraft operations, airports, and supporting agencies. Many types of aircraft are used in various operations around the world. These operations are commonly categorized as commercial service, private operations (categorized as GA), and military operations. Airports are usually categorized as commercial service, GA, private, or military.
The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 (9/11) were designed to damage global security and the US economy—an economy reliant on aviation. A critical strategy for responding to terrorist threats is to moderate the response to not cause further deterioration to the economy or stability of a society. Terrorist organizations understand that they usually do not have the forces or resources to defeat an enemy in a traditional military conflict. Therefore, terrorists operate more indirectly, striking in ways that cause targeted countries or societies to incur loss of life, economic damage, changes in policies, or other effects. These attacks are usually designed with the hope that countries or societies overreact in ways that further diminish the ability to protect or sustain safety and economic viability. Terrorists also know that with each subsequent attack, the targeted populace gives up more of its freedom through changes in laws and policies or by accepting that intrusion into private lives is unavoidable and required. In these ways, terrorists cause economic and social degradation within nations and societies.
Terrorism has additional effects beyond the initial loss of life and property. The direct economic effects of the 9/11 attacks showed a financial loss of $190 billion dollars (Mueller and Stewart, 2016, pp. 275–276), but other, less direct impacts occurred. As a lasting effect of 9/11, large amounts of resources were committed to secure the production, distribution, communication, and financing industries from terrorist attack (Makinen, 2002, CRS-2), as well as to secure the US aviation system.
Another concern after 9/11 was the increased price of oil. However, oil prices spiked only briefly before returning to relatively normal prices, at least until 2008. Additional concerns resulting from 9/11 also affected US trade partners, especially Canada, Mexico, and Japan. Numerous businesses, including financial institutions, insurance companies, commercial banks, pension funds, and stock exchanges, were also affected by the attacks. Also directly affected was the destruction of the World Trade Centers (WTCs), shattering the leading dealer in US Treasury securities, Cantor Fitzgerald including the loss of their staff, who accounted for almost one-quarter of all those killed in the WTC attacks. The grounding of all aircraft also created a financial impact, as the clearing of checks and the distribution of paper currency were hampered (Makinen, 2002, CRS-2).
US airlines were already experiencing financial problems leading to the US Congress approving an aid package worth over $5 billion in short-term assistance and $10 billion loan guarantees. The insurance industry experienced a loss of an estimated $40 billion, and while the insurance industries had the capital to cover the costs at the time, they may not be able to if devastating attacks continue. The impacts of 9/11 on the agriculture and food industry were minor setbacks in the commodities market; however, the subsequent Anthrax attacks resulted in the passage of new laws to reduce the industries vulnerability to bioterrorism. Also, nearly 1800 businesses were disrupted, relocated, or destroyed as a result of the attacks, and 462 mass layoffs displaced 130,000 employees. In New York City (NYC), the destruction of the WTC towers and nearby businesses had a major impact on the Gross City Product (GCP) of NYC, reducing the GCP by approximately 27.3 billion and tax losses as a result of the attacks, reducing city tax revenues by over $2 billion in fiscal 2002 and another $1 billion in fiscal 2003 (Makinen, 2002, CRS-5 and 6). In addition to appropriate responses to terrorist or criminal attacks, those charged with protecting aviation must ensure that strategies and technologies remain current and viable for defending against new threats. Security practitioners employing outdated strategies and tactics create opportunities for terrorists to use these systems to their advantage. For instance, the 9/11 attacks showed ingenuity and were organized using modern technologies (eg, the Internet) to defeat what was essentially at the time, a 1970s aviation security system.
Flawed management in designing and implementing modern security systems can also create opportunity for criminals or terrorists. For example, industry is responding to terrorism by investing billions of dollars in research and development for improved explosives detection equipment. Of concern is that much of this technology has not undergone extensive testing before deployment. Although technologi...

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