How Do Airports and Airlines Address the Future Threats to the Aviation Industry

How do Airports and Airlines address the future threats to the Aviation IndustryINTRODUCTIONAs the aviation industry is a multi-billion dollar business and is fast growing, the threats it is facing are also increasing on a fast pace. The airports and airlines have been discovering and developing measures to combat these threats. Through the years, security procedures evolved and it has been observed that most of the rules and procedures implemented by the governing bodies in aviation had been preceded by a major tragic incident or event.Airport security procedures are designed to prevent and respond to acts of unlawful interference that may affect the safety and security of the travelling public. While the airlines, having the full control of the aircraft while in-flight, are also adopting measures to
address these threats.We are going to tackle the most common measures implemented by airlines and airports, in cooperation with ICAO and other governing bodies in the aviation sector, to combat future threats to the aviation industry. This will include few examples of defining events that
shaped up few of these Standards and Recommended Procedures.A. Passenger and Baggage Reconciliation SystemAir India Flight 182 BombingOn June 23, 1985, an Air India Flight 182 was blown up by a bomb in mid-air over the Atlantic near Ireland. A total of 329 people were killed. The flight was operating from Toronto to Montreal as AI 181. The flight number had changed to Flight AI 182 for the return trip to London, New Delhi and Bombay. (Smith, 2001, pp. 109-112)On its way to London, at 07:05hrs GMT, Air India Flight 182 and relayed the information to Shannon International Airport Air Traffic Control while passing the Irish air space. At 07:14:01hrs GMT the Air India radar return suddenly vanished. Unknown to the controllers, Flight 182 had disintegrated in mid-air. An examination of passenger lists and computer records indicated that a traveller by the name of M. Singh, had checked in at Vancouver for Canadian Pacific Air Flight 060 to Toronto, and had failed to turn up but bags had been loaded. Mr M. Singh had not been confirmed on his connecting flight AI 182 because of overbooking at the time of reserving his seat, but he was waitlisted for the trip. (???Special Report: Air India Flight 182,??? n.d.)According to the National Geographic Channel series Air Crash Investigation, when Mr. M. Singh checked-in at the Canadian Pacific Air counter in Vancouver for Flight 060 to Toronto, the agent initially refused his request to inter-line the baggage since his seat from Toronto to Montreal and from Montreal to New Delhi and Bombay was unconfirmed. Mr. M. Singh insisted until the agent relented and permitted the suitcase to be checked though. Further investigation revealed that the said suitcase contained a bomb embedded in a Sanyo stereo tuner that caused the breakup of the aircraft in mid-air. The Canadian investigators were determined that the main suspects in the bombing were members of the Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa and other related groups based in Canada. ICAO??™s Response
In an effort to combat such threat of sending an unaccompanied baggage with a bomb on board of an aircraft, one of the changes included in Amendment 7 to ICAO??™s Annex 17 that was adopted in 1989 is to provide for a further clarification of the Standards in dealing with reconciliation of baggage with passengers. (???Annex 17- Security: Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful Interference,??? n.d.)To comply with ICAO Annex 17, every airline has to ensure that no piece of luggage is transported in a flight without the corresponding passenger being on board the same aircraft. This regulation is the basis for all passenger and baggage reconciliation systems.There are two ways to comply such regulation:
1. Manual Passenger and Baggage Reconciliation
Each item of luggage is tagged while being loaded to the aircraft using a Bingo Sheet-type tally paper. The other part of the baggage tags, which are bar-coded, are stuck onto a sheet and compared to a list of the passengers on board. If luggage is identified without a corresponding passenger on board, it then has to be searched and offloaded. Searching of the luggage will take a lot of time as this system has no information about its location like the container or the zone it is in. The manual approach is time consuming and error prone. Furthermore, unloading luggage from an aircraft prior to departure is a regular cause of delays and incurs related costs. 2. Automated Passenger and Baggage Reconciliation
On checking-in a passenger??™s luggage will be tagged with a bar-coded tag, the counterpart tag being normally stuck onto the boarding card. The Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) then receives loading permission from the check-in desk with certain information about each piece of luggage. This information is sent by the airlines host system to the BRS. Subject to the capabilities of the BRS in use, it is then possible to scan each item of luggage on loading. Using a hand scanner it is possible to record the luggage location, the container it is in and the zone it is placed. The time of loading is also recorded. At the departure gate the system checks each boarding passenger. If there is a piece of luggage without a corresponding passenger on board, a Baggage Unload Message is sent to the BRS, which can locate the luggage precisely using the data collected while loading. Should a search for a baggage item reveal that the bag was not loaded; the BRS internally adjusts the scanned data, and instructs that the loading permission for that bag to be denied. (???Baggage Reconciliation System PSIairport/BRS from PSI Logistics GmbH,??? n.d., p. 2) B. Controls over Items Left Behind on the Aircraft by Disembarking
PassengersKorean Air Flight 858 BombingOn 29 November 1987, Korean Air Flight 858 was travelling from Abu Dhabi to Seoul exploded mid-air and killed 115 individuals near Burma after 2 North Korean secret agents planted a bomb in the cabin. The agents were Kim Hyun-hee (25 years old) and Kim Sungil (69 years old), had conducted the bombing mission to disrupt preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in South Korea. Posing as Japanese father and daughter tourists, they travelled to Moscow, Budapest, Vienna, and Belgrade before arriving in Baghdad on 29th November. (???Bombing of Korean Air Flight 858,??? n.d.) They had boarded KAL 858 from Baghdad and planted a bomb made from liquid explosive disguised in a liquor bottle and a detonator hidden in a radio in the overhead locker before disembarking the aircraft during the first stop-over in Abu Dhabi. (???115 Died in Nov. 29 Crash,??? 1988) Both had flown from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain and on 31 November at Bahrain International Airport, as they were about to take a flight to Rome, authorities became suspicious and both had been apprehended. Kim Sungil, bit into a cyanide-laced cigarette and died instantly. The police officer grabbed a similarly poisoned cigarette from Kim Hyun-hee.
She was transferred to South Korea for further interrogation where she confessed that she with her fellow agent planted the bomb. She was sentenced to death in March 1989 but was later pardoned by South Koreas president, Roh Tae-woo. (???Bombing of Korean Air Flight 858,??? n.d.)ICAO??™s Response
Also part of the changes included in the Amendment 7 of the ICAO??™s Annex 17 and was adopted on June 1989 is the control over items left behind on the aircraft by disembarking passengers. (???Annex 17 – Security: Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful Interference,??? n.d.)Airlines are now required properly check all the items left in the overhead lockers or anywhere inside the passenger cabins when an aircraft will unload part of the passengers in one stopover point. All the items should be identified and declared owned by those remaining passengers.C. Other Security MeasuresFurther to the above mentioned measures implemented by airlines and airports to boost aviation security, there are many procedures which are also being undertaken in the aviation system. AIRPORT SECURITY
1. Passenger Screening ??“ This involves the screening of the passenger and his carry-on baggage. A passenger walks through the Magnetometer – an automated screening system that detects any presence of metal. An alarm will trigger if sufficient amount of metal is detected. Simultaneously, the passenger??™s carry-on bag will be screened on an x-ray machine to examine its contents for prohibited items such as firearms, sharp objects that
may be used as weapons, or chemical-based trace explosives. 2. Checked-baggage Screening ??“ The Explosive Detection System (EDS) is a device that uses computed tomography technology are used to detect metal and trace of explosives that may be hidden in the baggage. All checked bags are screened prior to loading to an aircraft. 3. Employee Identification ??“ Airport and airline employees, concessionaires, contractors and government employees such as air traffic controllers and airport security staff are issued with Identification Cards (ID) and are required to display such at all times while inside the airport. In many instances, this ID badge is color-coded or marked to identify the areas in the airport the badge holder can access.4. Controlled Access and Perimeter Security ??“ In an airport, access to restricted areas are being controlled by using systems ranging from simple key locks to smart-access technologies, such as keypad entry systems requiring proper passcodes. The four common methods of securing the airport??™s perimeter are perimeter fencing, controlled access gates, area lighting and patrolling of the secured area. (Young & Wells, 2004, pp. 289-299)
1. Cockpit Door Design ??“ As a protective measure to combat hijacking and sabotage situations, the cockpit bulkhead and the door should be constructed to withstand small arms??™ fire and grenade shrapnel. This is to delay or prevent unauthorized entry to the cockpit. (Murphy, 2003, p. 22) 2. Sky Marshals ??“ Considered as the last line of defence, it is the deployment of armed guards on board of a civil aircraft, largely unnoticed by public, to protect the passengers and crew in the event of unlawful interference. The responsibility for employment, qualification and training must rest with state authorities in cooperation with the airlines. (Dolan, 2004, p. 120)CONCLUSION
As the major players of the aviation system, airlines and airports regard with high priority the security and safety of its facilities ??“ the airport and aircraft ??“ to protect all its stakeholders.To ensure the safe arrival and passengers and crews the security measures must be comprehensive starting on the ground ??“ at the airport. The security procedures conducted at the airport are the first line of defence against acts of unlawful interference. The special security provisions for cabin, cockpit and other sensitive areas in an aircraft and the deployment of sky marshals should not be a substitute for effective ground security and pre-board screening and control. These will only serve as the last line of defence.
The future threats to the civil aviation are unknown. But the efforts of the civil aviation system to make air travel as safe and secure as possible will continue to be the top priority
by the airports, airlines, the States and all the governing bodies of aviation.REFERENCES115 Died in Nov. 29 Crash : N. Korea Agent Confesses, Says She Put Bomb on Jet.
(1988, January 15). Los Angeles Times.Air Crash Investigation: Air India: Explosive Evidence (Air India Flight 182)
[Video]. (2008). London, England: National Geographic ChannelAnnex 17 – Security: Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful
Interference. (n.d.). Retrieved on December 04, 2011 from ICAO Website: Reconciliation System PSIairport/BRS from PSI Logistics GmbH. (n.d.) p. 2.
Retrieved on December 01, 2011 from
/downloads/PSI_Logistics/pdf/airport/PSIairport_BRS_en.pdfBombing of Korean Air Flight 858. (n.d.). Retrieved on November 30, 2011 from
Xray, D. J. (Apr 2004). Sky Marshalls – The ???Ultimate??? Solution , Intersec,
Vol. 14, Iss 4Murphy, T. (Jan 2003). Aviation Security Trends: The View from the Cockpit.
Vol.13, Iss 1.Smith, J. B. (2001). Aircraft Accident Report Air India Flight 182.
Carmel Valley, CASpecial Report: Air India Flight 182. (n.d.) Retrieved on December 1, 2011, from, S. B., & Wells, A. T. (2004). Airport Planning and Management (5th Edition),
New York: McGraw-Hill.

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