With increased terror activities over the last couple of years, airport security has been threatened to a huge extent. Taking this into account, enhancing aviation security has been top of agenda in most countries across the world for the aim of ensuring that the safety of the passengers is not compromised. According to Ormerod and Dando (2015), aviation security typically takes into account techniques as well as methods used in protecting passengers, employees, as well as planes from malicious harm, crime, and other security threats. Airports typically face a wide range of unique challenges as they have to ensure that the security of the passengers is guaranteed without affecting the time. This explains why aviation security is vital in all airports. According to Hall (2015), the current aviation security has popularly been built on physical measures and technologies being integrated into the basis of layered security. However, the outcomes focused based approach to aviation security is being proposed to replace the layered system. Taking this into account, this essay seeks to compare the layered and the outcomes focused based approach to aviation security.
The Layered system approach
According to Gupta et al. (2010), layered security in aviation typically describes the practice of combining a wide range of mitigating security controls for the purpose of preventing entrance of potential threats. In this method, multiple layers of defence are employed, which plays a profound role in resisting penetration by an attacker. According to Blandón-Gitlin et al. (2014), despite the fact that most of the checkpoints in most airports are usually readily recognisable, there are other critical layers of security put in place in order to mitigate risks that are invisible to the public including intelligence analysis as well as behaviour detection officers. Notwithstanding the fact that the each layer alone is typically capable of stopping a potential threat or attack, through combination of different layers, the security value is enhanced considerably through creating a formidable as well as strong security system. Taking this into account, it implies that a terrorist with an intention of causing attack is likely to be thwarted even before the attempt. As such, De Lange et al. (2013) have explained that through the layered approach to aviation security, the parking, terminal, and the perimeter are usually monitored carefully through a wide range of technologies capable of detecting possible threats. These have been depicted in the airport layout figure 1 below;
Figure 1: Airport layout
Source: De Lange et al. (2013)
At the airport parking, careful planning and right technology is put into account in order to enhance security. Precisely, for the purpose of keeping track of all vehicles coming and going out of the airport, airports typically employ access control systems (ACS). These systems play an imperative role when it comes to managing access to approved parking areas. Additionally, the automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) helps in managing the payment of parking fee at the airport. This has been echoed by Hall (2015), who has affirmed that ALPR cameras are considered fundamental particularly when it comes to allowing for unmanned 24/7 surveillance at the parking lot. This ensures that unusual activities are easily monitored, thus enhancing the security at the airport. Additionally, through integration with video surveillance, the forms of technologies employed at the airport parking play a substantial role in enhancing car park efficiency as well as passenger’s experience. In fact some of the airports have been found to employ data from the ALPR and video management software (VMS) in indicating location of empty sports, preventing illegal parking, improving traffic, allowing automatic entry of authorise vehicles, as well as assisting car owners in locating their parked cars. These systems, as denoted by Baker and Benny (2012) also play a vital role in ensuring that there is smooth flow of traffic particularly during the peak hours. Through these technologies in place it can be deduced that security at the airport parking is enhanced to a considerable extent.
When it comes to the terminal, Aradau (2010) has noted that airport terminal typically a lot of personnel for the purpose of enhancing smooth operations. According to Bellanova and Fuster (2013), the terminal is considered the most critical point of airport. This explains why security measures in this area are never left to any chance. In this view, at the airport terminals, access control as well as video surveillance is considered pertinent in regards to promoting public safety as well as safety inside the terminals of the airport. Through keeping the records of personnel movement throughout the airport terminals as well as enhancing management of access rights, the access control systems typically allow airports security to monitor as well as control access to the many doors at the terminals effectively and efficiently. Through integration with video surveillance, the access control systems are usually able to display the pictures and credentials of the cardholders within video tiles. Through this, the security personnel is able to quickly verify the information of the cardholders from a central point. Additionally, for the purpose of enhancing the security further particularly in the highly-sensitive areas within the airport terminal, some airports usually integrate biometrics including fingerprint readers as well as retina scan in their access control systems. According to Blandón-Gitlin et al. (2014), with multiple cameras spread throughout the airport terminals, passengers as well as restricted areas can be monitored continuously. Consequently, the security personnel at the airport is able to detect possible security threats such as unattended objects, instances of theft as well as loitering and motion in areas that are considered sensitive. Besides, through this, it is possible to easily track movement of suspicious individuals in the terminals through the use of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera. As argued by Martin (2010), the use of video surveillance at the airport is also considered important to other groups at the airport, particularly when it comes to streamlining operations throughout the airport terminals. For instance, Baker and Benny (2012) have emphasised that security groups and customers can be able to disport more agents in case congestion at the terminals is detected. Moreover, through the use of an advanced video management system (VMS), Pütz (2012) has elucidated that video analytics software can play a profound role in processing data contained in real-time video streams. As a result, queue as well as crowd management can be enhanced considerably through the number of passengers in a particular line, number of opened positions, as well as the flow of passengers existing a specific area. The data gathered can then be used effectively in determining the average waiting time at critical locations. Through this, managers can be in a position of making appropriate decisions in terms of staffing together with allocation of resources (Pettersen & Bjørnskau, 2015). Overall, it can be argued that security at the airport terminals is enhanced to a substantial extent. The figure 2 below depicts how checking is done at the terminals.
Figure 2: Passengers being checked at airport terminal
Source: Baker and Benny (2012)
In relation to perimeter, notwithstanding the fact that passengers normally access the perimeter of an airport only when an aircraft, Aradau (2010) has argued that extending security measures outside the terminal, extended airport property, and aircraft taxi-ways is critical in ensuring public safety. Taking this into consideration, for the purpose of securing airport perimeter, most airports typically use a wide range of intrusion as well as perimeter protection technologies. These include face detection sensors, microwaves. High resolution cameras, trip-wire analytics, and buried cable detection sensors. Through this unified approach, De Lange et al. (2013) have asserted that perimeter detection devices normally the cameras to pan-tilt-zoom automatically for the aim of enhancing visual identification within the target area. The video surveillance is then sent to the security monitoring centre directly for immediate verification as well as response. In fact with advancement of mobile technology, recent systems have been customised to send alerts to smart phones of the security personnel at the security monitoring centre. As denoted by Bellanova and Fuster (2013), through deployment of perimeter detection technology coupled with a wide range of location-mapping tools, airports can be in a position of minimising the risk of security breaches going undetected. Response time is also reduced significantly through deploying these forms of technology. In a study conducted by Ghylin et al. (2014), managing these forms of technologies directly from an integrated mapping system plays fundamental role when it comes helping the various operators in quickly pinpointing other cameras nearby for the purpose if getting a wider view of the situation as well as confirmed location. Taking this into account, security at the airport’s perimeter is enhanced, thus boosting public safety significantly.
Owing to the high number of layers involved when it comes to using layered security, Wu and Mengersen (2013) has explained that for the aim of ensuring the security as well as safety of the public at airports typically require deployment of multiple technologies as well as systems. Nonetheless, according to Schouten (2014), the most critical forms of technologies deployed in enhancing security include explosives trace detection, wireless communications, and advanced technology X-ray. As regards to explosive trace detection, Wetter (2013) has explained that this form of technology has been used in screening the items of the passengers for possible explosive materials. Additionally, the technology has also been used in screening the hands of the passengers for the aim of determining whether they have come into contact with any form of explosive material. This is as depicted in the figure 3 below. `The use of this technology is relatively new, and is currently being deployed in various airports across the world in detecting a wide range of explosive materials as well as their components. According to Martin (2010), airports are using this flexible technology in new ways as well as in new locations beyond the convectional checkpoints such as departure gate. Through the technology, it has become possible for airports to mitigate various attacks from explosive materials. When it comes to wireless technologies, radio equipments have been deployed extensively at various airport checkpoints to not only reduce noise at the airports but also allow security personnel to communicate effectively in attempt to enhance security. Such forms of communication are intended to share information regarding various anomalies that the security officers may encounter during screening. Through this, it becomes easier to respond promptly to any form of threat identified. In relation to advanced imaging technology, McLay et al. (2010) has argued that it has been regarded as one of the strategies introduced a couple of years ago in attempt to enhance aviation security. As such, advanced imaging technology has leveraged in backscatter as well as millimetre wave technologies in enhancing security at the airport. Precisely, these technologies play a vital role in allowing security personnel in detecting metallic as well as non-metallic threats that have been concealed under layers of other harmless materials such as clothing without physical contact. This has helped in curbing a wide range of evolving threats without interfering with the privacy of the passengers. As a result, security has been tightened significantly. Lastly, when it comes to advanced technology X-ray, Aradau (2010) has noted that most airports across the world have deployed these screening devices in screening the carry-on baggage of passengers. In light of this, these devices have been found to enhance the threat-detection capabilities of airports to a huge extent. Liquid screening technology has also been used in airports in enhancing liquid detection capabilities. On this, most of the airports across the globe are now using a new bottled liquid screening system, which use light waves in screening sealed containers. This is primarily for the purpose of detecting a wide range of explosive liquids. Despite the fact that this technology is usually used in distinguishing between harmful and harmless liquids, Gupta et al. (2010) have affirmed that it can also be used in detecting various explosive materials.
Figure 3: Explosive trace detection
Source: McLay et al. (2010)
As asserted by De Lange et al. (2013), in relation to the layered security approach, an IP-based platform has been found to the most extensible, effective, and efficient at of deploying the aforementioned forms of technologies. This is because it enhances integration as well as unification of various technologies thus ensuring more effective collaboration. Consequently, faster response times are realised in the case of threats of security and public safety. Through standardisation of security operations such as monitoring, reporting, as well as alarm management into a single platform, Gupta et al. (2010) have emphasised that productivity in regards to airport security can be realised. Additionally, operational costs can be reduced to a huge extent. Through working with an integrated system such as Genetec Security Centre, it can be possible for airports to manage both its on-board and fixed systems under one platform. This as a result helps greatly in monitoring all aspects of operations in the airport without the need to switch from one application to another. The overall result of this is substantial improvement of airport security.
The outcomes focused based approach
According to Ghylin et al. (2014), threats to the aviation industry have evolved constantly in the recent past. As such, Kölle et al. (2011) have argued despite the fact that the layered approach has to a huge extent helped in mitigating possible threats to the aviation industry, evolvement of threats has rendered this approach to a considerable extent. Therefore, a plethora of positivism schools of thoughts have affirmed that aviation security measures need to be flexible and proactive for the purpose of mitigating these threats, while enhancing continued growth of the aviation industry. Taking this into account, the outcomes focused based approach has been regarded to be the most effective approach when it comes to guiding the creation as well as development of aviation security measures that are sustainable. According to Ng and Nudurupati (2010), desire outcomes typically play a pertinent role in outlining those standards that need to be achieved. This notwithstanding, states are given the flexibility of determining the best approaches that can be implemented in order to achieved the desired outcome through taking into account the local circumstances as well as risks.
It has been established that security threats to aviation are a global issues with insignificant regard to state borders. However, security threats have been found to manifest different in different countries. Besides, local factors normally determine the occurrence as well as nature of the threat. Therefore, through the use of the outcomes focused based approach, it provides insights in regards to how training and equipment, finance, as well as local situations shape the manner in which attacks are planned as well as executed. Over the last couple of years, various incidences have depicted the varying ways in which terrorists can attack. For instance, in 2009, Al-Queda, one of the largest terror groups in the world attempted to detonate a person-borne IED on the Northwest Airlines flight (Ormerod & Dando, 2015). In another incident by a separate group, a person-bored IED was detonated inside Moscow International Airport. Taking these illustrations into consideration, it can be noted that the methods used by attackers vary largely depending on the environment. In this connection, it can be argued that diversification as well as adaptability is key when it comes to enhancing security in the aviation industry.
The outcomes focused based approach usually upholds that all countries normally have unique aspects that impact the conduct as well as sustainability of their operations in ensuring aviation security. This is unlike the layered system approach, which assumes that all security threats can be mitigated through the same way irrespective of the involved countries (Pettersen & Bjørnskau, 2015). Besides, the outcomes focused based approach also upholds that culture and history normally play an undisputable role in shaping the focus and structure of the security procedures. Therefore, this approach, unlike the layered system approach, advocates for integration of these aspects when devising security measures in the aviation industry.
Unlike in the layered system approach, the outcomes focused based approach have been found to found to be sustainable to a huge extent owing to the fact that they are resilient, effective, as well as resource efficient. Hall (2015) has outlined that this approach typically allows states the flexibility they deserve through allowing them to adopt aviation security measures that are more practicable in regards to achieving the desired outcome. Taking this into account, unlike the layered centred approach, the outcomes focused based approach is flexible owing to the fact that it allows different states to shift their resources quickly to areas that are regarded as high risks. In a study conducted by Rodrigues and Cusick (2012) on recent attacks and attempted attacks have confirmed that most of terrorists normally leverage on perceive gaps in the security architecture of a state. Through this, the terrorists can easily adapt to the changes, which can make it possible for them to conduct terror attacks in the aviation industry. Therefore, through the use the outcomes focused based approach, the states can be able to move their resources for the purpose of filling those gaps. This is particularly in the light of environment as well as financial constraints. The outcomes focused based approach also helps the states in quickly pre-empting various emerging threats. This sentiment has been echoed by Stevens et al. (2010), who have asserted that through the outcomes focused based approach, the aviation industry will also be flexible in relation to their ability to tailor their security measures in lie with their operating circumstances. Consequently, airports are able to counter a wide range of contemporary threats, would otherwise be hard through the use of the layered system approach.
When it comes to the aspect of sustainability, Wu and Mengersen (2013) have argued that unlike the layered system approach, the outcomes focused based approach play a huge role in providing a long-term sustainability in light of the promulgated security standards. As a result, a wide range of security threats to aviation can be addressed amicably in a manner that does not compromise the continued growth of the operations of the civil aviations. Tawhid et al. (2012) have explained that over the last couple of years, terrorist groups have become innovative to a huge extent. As such, recommended settings and prescriptive standards cannot be able to keep pace with the innovative terrorists as well as evolving security threats. In the argument of Hall (2015), recommended practices, which are upheld by the layered system approach, will need to be revisited every time there is a new threat. Besides, these recommended practices will need to lengthy for the aim of covering all possibilities. In fact, according to Kölle et al. (2011), in most situations, recommended settings have been seen to encourage a reactive culture, where new practices are developed after occurrence of incidences. This is typically not sustainable particularly in the long run as it is the case in the layered system approach. However, with the outcomes focused based approach, states as well as the aviation industry will develop proactive measures, that will help in mitigating a wide range of security threats.
Additionally, according to Kölle et al. (2011), unlike the layered system approach, the outcomes focused based approach has been found to have high levels of efficiency. Specifically, the outcomes focused based approach normally uses risk assessments for the purpose of determining how security outcomes in the aviation industry can be realised through efficient uses of the available resources. This sentiment is in accordance to the assertion of Ng and Nudurupati (2010), who emphasises that states should not have prescription regarding the amount resources of human capital needed in order to achieve the required security. Therefore, through risk assessment, which has been advocated by the outcomes focused based approach, a state is able to balance the resources it allocates to aviation security while achieving the desired outcomes. Still on this, outcomes focused based approach typically plays a pertinent role in creating a proactive culture that encourages flexibility as well as innovation, in an attempt to develop the best security practices of aviation, in both the public as well as private sectors.
According to Tamasi and Demichela (2011), the outcomes focused based approach enhances mutual validation as well as equivalence. In this view common standards and outcomes In relation to aviation security are typically identifiable and understood clearly between states. Pragmatically, security outcomes are tied to a wide range of system performance measures that can be compared easily between states. Consequently, states with sophisticated security measures will be in a position of recognising the effectiveness and efficient of various approaches to the same outcome. As such, it implies that the outcomes focused based approach will avoid one country or organisation relying on a mirror image of its own security practices when it comes to assessing the system of another state of organisation. Therefore, as Stewart and Mueller (2014) explains, through the outcomes focused based approach different states can rely on each other in coming up with various security measures of mitigating threats in the aviation industry.
Lastly, according to Ng and Nudurupati (2010), the outcomes focused based approach is fundamental in enhancing cooperation of states. Specifically, Tawhid et al. (2012) have explained that one of the indirect benefits of the outcomes focused based approach it helps in building understanding between states. Taking this into account, implementation of the outcomes focused based approach will force different countries to understand the unique influences in countries. This when evaluating whether to recognise their security measures or not. Therefore, it implies that states will have to be accommodative ad investigative when it comes to conducting bilateral assessments. Consequently, cooperation will be enhanced to a huge extent. Ultimately, states will be in a position of working together in devising a wide range of proactive strategies aimed at mitigating security in the aviation industry, both at local as well as international levels.
In conclusion, it has been established in this essay that aviation security is important as it ensures that the safety of passengers is enhanced. From this paper it has been established that the current aviation security has been built on physical measures as well as technologies being integrated into the basis of layered security. However, the outcome focused based approach to aviation security is has been proposed for the purpose of enhancing security. Unlike the layered system approach, the outcomes focused based approach have been found to found to be sustainable due to the fact that it is resilient, effective, as well as resource efficient. As such, it allows states the flexibility they deserve through allowing them to adopt aviation security measures that are more practicable when it comes to achieving the desired outcomes. Therefore, implementing this approach will see security in the aviation industry improve significantly.
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