International Airport Review presents… a roundup of security in 2016

Posted: 4 January 2017 | Roy Manuell, Digital Editor | No comments yet

As 2016 dawned and we enter 2017, many questions regarding airport security remain unanswered. Here’s our roundup of 2016 in airport security…


Earlier in 2016, here at International Airport Review we successfully ran ‘The Security Series’ hearing from airlines, airports and regulators as they granted us a unique insight into the challenges, innovations and issues facing the aviation and airport industry with respect to security.


As 2016 dawned and we enter 2017, many questions remain unanswered. Not a day seems to goes past without hearing about a fresh tragedy caused by extremism around the world and inevitably aviation is one of the most vulnerable sectors to such attacks on civilians. 

We initially caught up with Angela Gittens, DG of ACI World at AVSEC 2016 in Malaysia and it became clear that the renewed emphasis on security in light of the Brussels and Istanbul attacks that took place last year was an approach that married collaboration and communication between all parties. Security, an inherently difficult issue to be purely open about opens up the paradox that the industry now faces:

How do we reconcile this need to work together when certain aspects of security protection must remain secret?

Several of our experts such as Hugo Porter of the Civil Aviation Authority, New Zealand and Ken Thomas, EUROCONTROL, argued that new technologies present us with new possibilities for threat detection and behavioural analysis to complement screening. 


Elsewhere, we obtained a fresh insight from David Henson, a Former Aviation Security Manager, easyJet who gave us an airline’s perspective on crisis management and it is our belief that we must hear from all parties – airlines, airports, consultant, regulators and governments… –  if we are to collectively find a solution to this collective issue. 

As we saw a shift in emphasis in 2016 from airside attacks to the landside, it is imperative that we address potential weaknesses on both sides acknowledging that any area with congregations of passengers such as security queues are forever prone to becoming the target of attacks. 

As you can see, The Security Series taught us a lot, and you can access each article in full below:

Exclusive interview with Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World

Exclusive interview with Henrik Hololei, European Commission

Andy Blackwell: Staying one step ahead of civil aviation threats 

James Braver; Peter DiDomenica: Securing the public side of airports

Exclusive interview with Hugo Porter Manager of Security at the Civil Aviation Authority, New Zealand

Solomon Wong; Karen Warnick-Elinan, InterVISTAS: Key trends in border preclearance

Exclusive interview with Ken Thomas Head of the Network Operations Coordination Unit at EUROCONTROL

David Henson: An airline’s perspective  

It seems evident that elsewhere the threat posed by cyber attacks was accentuated in 2016 as democracy itself was accused of being threatened by many officials in the US that claimed Russia had attempted to hack into and influence the Presidential elections. You can access the latest evaluative piece by our resident cyber security expert Dr John McCarthy here and his monthly blog by sifting through our website.

Further to this, security itself costs the state and individual a significant amount as displayed by our infographic below:



What is clear is that 2016 was a year that changed our approach to airport and aviation security a great deal. Now it remains to be seen precisely how 2017 will unfold and the extent to which the industry can come together and approach the issue with a collective collaboration. 

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