Raising the Security Bar

More improved technology is needed to ensure airport security around the world.

By Mujtaba Baig | May 2020


Improving the aviation environment is not an easy job. Two factors are important: passenger comfort and security. These relate to airline and airport services as well as the entire security framework, both on the ground and in the air.

Civilian setups enable air passengers to enjoy their journeys. They aim to maximize passenger comfort in coordination with airlines and airport managements. Their area of remit is from the departure lounge of one airport to the arrival lounge of next airport.

Aviation security calls for a high level of vigilance and both civilian and defence forces manage this function. They oversee both the landside and airside aspects of civil aviation. Their jurisdiction begins from the entrance point of the departing airport and ends at the exit point of the arrival airport.

Civilian security forces look after operational security at airports. They monitor the take-off, flying and landing of each aircraft. The management of overflying air traffic is also a part of operational security. It is of a technical nature in which gadgets and equipment assist the manual effort.

Operational security forces also guard restricted areas which unauthorized persons are not permitted to enter. The quality of operational security depends upon the efficiency of the manpower.

External security is of two types. The first is ground-level external security. It begins from the place where the jurisdiction of the airport starts.

All the areas in and around an airport touching its boundary walls are under its jurisdiction. This involves a high-level of surveillance to combat all types of threats.

Air space security is the domain of the air defence services. The response level of air defence forces to any threat should not be more than a few seconds.

Security equipment at airports needs an advanced level of maintenance

In many countries, it ranges from ten to twenty seconds. In other places, it may be forty seconds or more and this not considered satisfactory.

Air traffic control points out any threat in the air and the civilian force manages it. The civilian force conveys possibility of the threat to the defence forces, which respond in a few seconds to avert it.

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