Airports are particularly busy public places and it is no surprise to see them a prime target for terrorism. Civil aviation has been a particular area of terrorist interest and activity, even before 11 September 2001. The aircraft, crew, passengers and even the airport infrastructure function under the grim shadow of terrorist attacks today. A number of terrorist attacks have occurred all over the world, targeting airports and aircraft that have led one to ponder upon the security at Airports and its challenges.
Today, the threat of terrorism looms even larger and all over the world. It is essential to look into the challenges faced by Airports and improve the security by employing ultra-modern methods of intelligence and security services. It is evident that the earlier security means were not effective or sufficient to tackle the security issues effectively. There is a dire need of adapting to changing circumstances and comprehend the increased levels of threat to airports. It is essential to implement highly sophisticated systems.
The airport security control segments ensure and look after different segments so as to ensure efficient and effective security as a whole to the airport. These segments comprise of complete airport facilities including cargo, baggage, vehicles, airplanes and airport-air-space access. These include even the people at the airport and these may be the passengers, visitors, staff, air-crew, etc. The airplanes and airport-air-space access along with the environment and cyberspace too need security. What we are looking here is a labyrinth of security challenges that need to be coordinated and maintained. This is one of the biggest challenges faced by the Airport security.
The data flowing through these different segments is generated by different subsystems and sensors and need to be monitored 24-7. The data needs to be processed and analyzed simultaneously, so as to get a complete view of the security situation in the complete area of the airport. Even the last minute information needs to be shared between different airport authorities to make sense and create real time assessment.Still, there are clouds of ambiguity that hover over the airport environment. One is never sure as to how much intelligence is out there, the quality of information being gathered and its usefulness for airport security. The airport security officials need to work systematically and closely with each other at all times to neutralize any threat. Still, it is a challenging task as the timely and appropriate collection, analysis and dissemination of information at an airport can be problematic at times.
Despite these daunting challenges, the awareness is growing among the airport security practitioner and efforts are being made to maximize intelligence collection and boost security levels.