The US Government Accountability Office has issued a report that states airport perimeter security and access control security would ‘benefit from risk assessment and strategy updates’, following a string of complaints from both passengers and airport personnel, which could potentially create ‘dangerous vulnerability’ for the aviation system across the entire country.
The report also states that the TSA is, and should be, responsible for setting minimum standards in place for airports of all sizes. According to the Government Accountability Office, the TSA has failed to update its policies to reflect the current and potential threats to the commercial aviation system.
Airport perimeter security and access breaches appear to be on the increase, which defeats the purpose of extensive analysis when no action is taken to make improvements.
Providers of physical security solutions, including airport perimeter security and access control systems, work with customers to identify and prioritise gaps in security to tailor solutions to facility-specific requirements.
Read the full report from the GAO here.
As the growing concerns in the airports industry reaches fever pitch over security, it is this week revealed that there have been instances of ex-airport personnel using their security badges to gain access to secure areas of an airport environment.
Airport staff and contractors are not screened in the same way as passengers and this can lead to breaches in security, which must remain secure and reliably protected, particularly high-security areas such as concourses, ramps and the tarmac.
As these issues increase, airports are looking to the infrastructure security industry to make full use of the latest technology, which does reduce time spent screening and monitoring these secure areas. Using a collaborative approach with software solutions can mean that identity records are monitored in real-time and even anomalous facility access patterns can be recognised quickly.
Access and infrastructure security providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AIM solution, can offer enhanced access security across the entire airport environment, while keeping costs manageable and reducing the workload on currently already stretched personnel.
Passenger security improvements are highlighted this week as the world resumes business travel after the holiday break. As the industry as a whole tightens security across the world’s borders, the question must be raised about the lengths airports are prepared to go to to improve security for personnel access when Atlanta airport admit that 150 guns were smuggled onto aircraft over a seven-month period last year.
A Delta Airlines baggage handler was involved in a smuggling operation that saw guns carried through secure areas of Atlanta Airport to find their way onto the streets of New York.
This clearly demonstrates that personnel access measures need to be tightened in order to ensure that passengers and crew are safe. Airport personnel should be screened in the same way as passengers, say the authorities, and airports should be encouraged to put security measures in place.
Airport security providers offer critical infrastructure protection across the board, and solutions are available to ensure that access control can be regulated throughout the airport environment – for passengers, airline staff and also for information security.
Passengers need the reassurance that staff are screened just as effectively as they are themselves and the instances of smuggling simply highlight the grey areas of airport security.