Global Aviation Security Symposium

ACI World Sets out New Long-term Vision for Airport Security

Focus is on high level of security, more efficiency and quality of passenger experience

Airports Council International

At the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), this week, Airports Council International (ACI) World outlined its long term vision for aviation security which focuses on more innovative procedures, greater efficiency, and a better passenger experience.

ACI World published its vision as some 700 international aviation security professionals met in Montreal for a series of events exploring the future of aviation security including an Industry Engagement Day, the Global Aviation Security Symposium, and the Second High Level Conference on Aviation Security.

ACI World Director General Angela Gittens presented three papers to the High Level Conference on Aviation Security where senior government officials and invited representatives of international and regional organizations formulate recommendations on key aviation security priorities, namely:

  • Vision for Aviation Security at Airports
  • Joint Approach to Border and Aviation Security Threats at Airports
  • ACI’s Contributions and Updates to the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).

was produced in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and promotes the efforts that the aviation industry is making to identify themes, innovations and developments that will affect airport security in the long term.

“With growing passenger numbers, airports simply cannot keep creating more space and adding more and longer queues to accommodate more layers of screening  measures,” Gittens said. “We need to find ways of being smarter about security and recognize that there is not one solution for all airports. All airports and aviation stakeholders must work together to ensure innovative and integrated solutions are in line with regulatory requirements and are tailored to the unique conditions and facilities of the airport.”

The paper identifies new and emerging themes in airport security, including off-airport handling of passengers and bags to minimize required processes at airports, walk-through, seamless, stand-off security from curb to gate for passengers, and whole-of-airport security to secure the overall airport infrastructure from a range of current and evolving threats.

“In the future, it is expected that interactions with staff at airports will be centred on customer friendly tasks while machines will perform most screening activities,” Gittens said. “Security screening will be based on risk assessments and advanced screening technologies that allow for effective and efficient detection of a greater range of threats in an ever-evolving threat environment.”

Detailing its ongoing contribution towards the Global Aviation Security Plan, ACI committed to take a leading role on the Smart Security programme following years of fruitful partnership on the programme with IATA. The programme has delivered positive change in the effectiveness, efficiency and customer experience of primary passenger screening checkpoints.

“The Smart Security initiative has been successful in piloting, monitoring and drawing lessons from various new initiatives that have been implemented at passenger checkpoints to deliver strengthened security, increased operational efficiency and a better passenger experience,” Gittens said. “We look forward to leading this project as its second wave continues to develop detailed guidance on emerging technologies and processes.”

ACI will also continue to develop guidance material and handbooks to support priority areas, such as capacity building as well as:

  • introducing new training and e-learning courses focused on cyber security and Smart Security, and
  • developing new handbooks on Insider Threats and Cyber Security.

On the first day of the Symposium, Angela Gittens also participated in the opening session which explored the key challenges for States and Industry stakeholders in deploying effective and efficient screening technologies.



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