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Aviation security challenges: practical solutions

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A presentation by David Alexander, ICAO AVSEC PM, Professional Aviation Services.

Delivered during the 34th annual Southern African Transport Conference (SATC) held in Centurion, South Africa.

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Aviation security challenges: practical solutions

  1. 1. Aviation Security Challenges Practical Solutions David Alexander ICAO AVSEC PM Professional Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd
  2. 2. Contents • Background • Onboard security • Screening • Airports attacks • Countermeasures • Some solutions • Questions and closing
  3. 3. A new era in Aviation Security • Focus on the aircraft • Screening • Profiling • Intelligence
  4. 4. Security on board • Sky marshals on selected flights • Secure cockpit doors • Security training for flight and cabin crew • Passenger awareness
  5. 5. At the airport? • Long delays • Stringent screening (Shoes and parcels) • Angry passengers
  6. 6. Advanced screening systems Passengers screening combining scanning, metal detection and explosive detection
  7. 7. Advanced baggage screening • Fully automated CTX screening • Screener intervention to resolve alarms • Some include explosive detection
  8. 8. The 5 stage baggage screening system • Level 1 Fully automated • Level 2 Operator screening • Level 3 Alternate Technology • Level 4 Physical examination in presence of passenger • Level 5 if the passenger cannot be reconciled with the bag and the bag will be considered as a threat and dealt with accordingly. Computer Tomography X-ray
  9. 9. Cabin baggage screening Very difficult to get any illegal item past screening points
  10. 10. Result? • Much more difficult to get a device or weapon on board • Seek alternative targets • Airport and transport facilities
  11. 11. Why airports and aviation? • High profile • Many people • Symbol of nation • Guaranteed the attack will make the news
  12. 12. Airport Attacks Brussels Zaventem
  13. 13. 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack • A terrorist ramming attack which occurred on Saturday 30 June 2007 • Security bollards outside the entrance stopped the car from entering the terminal • Religious motivation connected to the Iraqi conflict
  14. 14. Results • Increased security at several UK airports • Additional concrete bollards at vehicle access points By Thomas Nugent, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13153432
  15. 15. Domodedovo International Airport bombing • Explosion affected the baggage-claim area of the airport's international arrivals hall • The bombing killed 37 people and injured 173 others • Two suicide bombers, suspected to be Islamist militants from the North Caucasus
  16. 16. Airport owner charged Dmitriy Kamenshchik, the owner of the Domodedovo airport, charged with the provision of services that do not meet security standards in connection with 2011 terrorist attack that left 37 dead
  17. 17. 2014 Jinnah International Airport attack • 8 June 2014, 10 militants armed with automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, suicide vests, and grenades attacked • 36 people were killed, including all 10 attackers, and 18 others were wounded • The militant organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
  18. 18. 2016 Brussels Airport in Zaventem • Retaliation for Belgium involvement in attacks on ISIS • Two suicide bombers, carrying explosives in large suitcases, attacked a departure hall • In two separate check in rows
  19. 19. Maalbeek metro station Explosion took place in the middle carriage of a three-carriage train at Maalbeek metro station
  20. 20. Brussels attacks In the bombings, 35 people, including three suicide bombers, were killed and over 300 others were injured, 62 critically. Including the attackers, seventeen bodies were recovered at Brussels Airport and fourteen at the metro station
  21. 21. 2016 Atatürk Airport attack • Gunmen armed with automatic weapons and explosive belts staged a simultaneous attack at the international terminal of Terminal 2 • Forty-five people were killed, in addition to the three attackers, and 239 people were injured
  22. 22. Changing patterns • Glasgow vehicle ramming • Moscow suicide bomber in arrivals • Jinnah armed assault • Brussels suicide bombers in departure hall • Istanbul armed assault and suicide vests in departure area and parking area
  23. 23. The challenge of new media • Were reliant on media houses • Now self publish • They decide when they get attention
  24. 24. Method, the lone wolf and small groups • Difficult to detect • Prospect creates fear • One attack causes many warnings, expense, fear, inconvenience
  25. 25. Threats “A pro-Islamic State Twitter account has warned of a terror attack on planes flying from Heathrow Airport across the US independence Day weekend.” Metro UK (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
  26. 26. Insider threat • Very difficult to detect • Vetting, recruitment and monitoring the key
  27. 27. Metrojet • Claim the flight was downed by a soda can IED • Most likely planted in catering by an “Insider”
  28. 28. Aftermath? • Increased security measures in many countries • More delays • Fear of travel • Expense
  29. 29. Counter measures What can be done?
  30. 30. Rings of protection Outer Middle Inner Sterile
  31. 31. Outer • Establish at airport boundary/perimeter • Includes fencing, lighting, signs, alarms • Designed to channel people/vehicles through controlled access gates and points
  32. 32. Rings of protection Outer Middle Inner Sterile
  33. 33. Middle • Establish at exterior of buildings, terminals, situated within airport boundary (greater physical protection of doors, windows, roofs, skylights) • For open areas such as runways and aprons, (protected by patrolling/guarding/surveillance)
  34. 34. Rings of protection Outer Middle Inner Sterile
  35. 35. Inner Buildings, areas, aircraft requiring maximum protection (protected by guarding/patrolling and additional barriers)
  36. 36. Rings of protection Outer Middle Inner Sterile
  37. 37. Sterile area • Passengers with valid tickets • Employees with valid permits • EVERYBODY screened before entry
  38. 38. Attacks being forced to the outer ring… A good thing?
  39. 39. Cooperation • Role players working together to design solutions • Airport authorities, ICAO, IATA, ACI, Police and intelligence bodies • Learn from experience
  40. 40. Airport design “Sometimes, art and function coincide. Open spaces and high ceilings can reduce the impact of a concussive blast. Other times, designers are working to reduce congestion in non-secure areas and create more offsite checkpoints. They seek to channel passengers in ways that take advantage of high- tech sensors, cameras and facial recognition software that may help police stop assailants before they kill.” Yahoo News By Alwyn Scott and Daniel Trotta
  41. 41. Information security Ensure that your security data is safe guarded, includes • Security design features • Personnel details • Shifts • SOP’s • Emergency procedures
  42. 42. Intelligence? • Many protest the surveillance being done • Security and safety or privacy? • You choose • I want them to watch all the time
  43. 43. Choose • Security and safety • Privacy • Choose, you cannot have both
  44. 44. Recruiting key • Recruit carefully • Select and vet correctly and thoroughly • Look after your people
  45. 45. Profiling • Essential tool despite bad press and resistance • Stopped many attacks • The attackers in Istanbul had on winter coats despite it being summer……….
  46. 46. Not “Criminal Minds”…… A very important tool and technique for keeping us safe
  47. 47. See something, say something To report suspicious activity, contact your local law enforcement agency. Describe specifically what you observed, including: • Who or what you saw; • When you saw it; • Where it occurred; and • Why it's suspicious. If there is an emergency, call 9–1–1. From US DHS
  48. 48. Random and unpredictable “TSA officers may use risk-based security measures to identify, mitigate and resolve potential threats at the airport security checkpoint. These officers may ask you questions about your travel to include identity, travel itinerary and property. TSA may use a variety of screening processes, including random screening, regardless of whether an alarm is triggered. In addition, TSA uses unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual is guaranteed expedited screening.” https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening
  49. 49. CCTV • Advanced observation • Track movement of persons • High image quality and image manipulation • Very valuable security tool
  50. 50. Training • Training is critical • Train EVERYBODY! • Aviation Security Awareness • Why is awareness important? • What must we be aware of? • What does awareness mean? (How is it done?) • What do I do if I see something? • Who do I report it to?
  51. 51. Don’t train because you must…….. • Train because it is the most effective way to create maximum “eyes” on security and possible threats • Train everybody, all can contribute to security • Train for your circumstances, include practical exercises
  52. 52. Conclusions • Threats and attack methods evolve all the time • Technology is evolving to meet current (and yesterday’s) threat • Intelligence is key • Human measures (profiling, recruiting, training) are the most effective detection method • Motivated, trained, aware personnel are the best deterrent
  53. 53. Questions? Presentation by David Alexander ICAO AVSEC PM Professional Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd 082 308 0169 david@professional.za.com

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