The recent disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has raised global questions about the effective use of aviation security messaging for both aircraft communications systems and passenger data transfer.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggest that a more refined, tailored approach to security messaging is needed, as current measures appear to be unsuitable in a general sense. With the technology available today, such as biometric security and electronic passports, information can be shared in real-time, allowing passengers to be screened more effectively.
Although the mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER has encouraged tighter security in airports across the world, questions are being asked why passengers were allowed on board with stolen passports, whether the incident is linked to the disappearance or not, as has been speculated.
The aircraft’s communications systems were allegedly switched off intentionally and continued to ‘handshake’ with the satellite network, Inmarsat until 8.11 am, when over the Indian Ocean and low on fuel.
Finding a balance when conducting security measures means treading a fine line. Security within airport operations should work in conjunction with border control agencies and government bodies to ensure that security should be tight, but effective, without causing major ground delays.
Airport operations software can help to streamline passenger processing, while maintaining high biometric screening levels and allowing passenger data to be checked, such as with the provision of advance passenger information, now mandatory in the U.S. since the events of 9/11.