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Airport security threats and strategic options for mitigation
This paper provides an overview of the security challenges and responses faced by airports. The number of air passengers is doubling every 15 years just as security dangers multiply across the world. Technology is enabling massive advances in security, but there are other elements that should be embraced — from exploring the power of human intuition to the lessons learnt by the military through the adoption of concentric rings of security and the very real dangers from insider threats. Cybersecurity is also an increasing and potentially catastrophic risk which, along with other emerging threats, needs to be addressed with greater creativity and imagination. Much is being done to deal with the risk — not least with industry programmes such as Fast Travel, Smart Security and now the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) and Airports Council International’s (ACI) latest initiative, NEXTT (New Experience in Travel and Technologies) — but the message from every key organisation is that the industry must do more, particularly when it comes to political will and a readiness to share experiences and best practice.
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David Menzel is based at SITA’s US offices in Atlanta, GA and has led sales as the Director, Government Markets since 2012. He has more than 25 years’ experience in aviation and telecommunications leading sales, marketing and business development strategies for start-up, Fortune 500, venture capital-owned, foreign-based and privately-owned firms and organisations. David is responsible for coordination on strategy engagement for SITA’s industry and legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. David organised and founded the Secure Journeys Working Group, which is a collaborative effort among airport stakeholders on utilisation of existing and innovative new technologies to ensure a secure journey for travellers. Prior to joining SITA, he enjoyed many years’ extensive specialist experience in a range of airport solutions and systems integration, both within and outside the USA.
Jennifer Hesterman is a retired US Air Force colonel who served three Pentagon tours and commanded in the field. Her last assignment was Vice Commander at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she led installation security, force support and the 1st Helicopter Squadron, and regularly escorted the President and other heads of state on the ramp. She is Vice President, Business Resiliency and Education Services for Watermark Risk Management International, on the board of directors for the International Foundation for Protection Officers and advises the Homeland Security Training Institute at the College of DuPage. She holds a doctoral degree from Benedictine University, master of science degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Air University, and a bachelor of science from Penn State University. She was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC and is an alumnus of the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows programme. Her book, Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack, was the ASIS Security Book of the Year for 2015. She also authored Soft Target Crisis Management (2016) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus (2013). Dr Hesterman is an expert on international and domestic terrorist organisations, transnational threats and organised crime. She is one of the very few analysts specialising in the terror–crime nexus. She is also a consultant on soft target vulnerabilities and hardening tactics, and has a specialist interest in issues including human intuition, concentric rings of security and ‘fifth column’ insider threats.