COMMENT: Airport security, who's in charge?

COMMENT: Airport security, who's in charge?
Daniel Andrews, editor, Arabian Travel News Daniel Andrews has been the editor of the Arabian Travel News and ArabianTravelNews.com for the past 12 months. He returns to the judging panel for the second time with more than six years’ experience working within the travel and tourism industry. Prior to joining ITP Publishing, Andrews headed up the marketing and communications department at one of Dubai’s iconic five-star hotels, Dusit Thani Dubai. As the judging day approaches on September 25, Andrews says: “I have attended the awards in different capacities over the past few years and the look of pride and appreciation from the winners and highly commended entries is so rewarding. To be able to determine who from the region’s crème de la crème is most deserving for their efforts and contribution to the industry is a great privilege and honour. “The Hotelier Middle East Awards always attracts a wealth of entries from across the region. What I am really looking for is that spark that makes an individual, or team, really stand out. That can be anything from going the extra mile in ensuring satisfied guests to thinking outside of the box in exceeding KPIs. It has to be something far beyond the realms of what is expected in day to day tasks.”
Published: 17 April 2016 - 5:50 a.m.
By: Daniel Andrews

The events of the past few weeks have not only grabbed the attention of the global community, but have left the aviation industry in a state of uncertainty. Fingers are continuing to be pointed as to the security at Brussels Airport in the aftermath of the bombing, in which at least 30 people were killed.

The attack wasn’t just a targetted assault on the country, but a strategic blow internationally, resulting in disruption of airlines and transportation globally.

While a number of speculative theories circulate, whatever the official findings are, the aviation industry needs to take definate action to address issues of responsibility and security.

Speaking to Henry Wilkinson at The Risk Advisory Group, and others who have offered their views on the situation in Belgium, the incident has raised numerous questions that require several shareholders to collectively come together to move forward. The first question, and one that many have raised, is why are there no international standards when it comes to international standards, and would they help?

Following the 9/11 attacks in the US, security checkpoints were enhanced, and additional screening practices were introduced, however, many airport’s check-in areas, often the busiest areas of an airport, remain unprotected.

Flying through Istanbul recently, the airport has placed a level of security screening the moment you enter the airport. Is this an option that would assist in protecting airport infrastructure? Possibly, but as Wilkinson argues, it will just increase the perimiter and where should this be extended to? Should airports have scanners at all car park entrances and road entry points?

Whatever the case, the industry needs to evolve in order to dispell innovative terrorist attacks that are targetting evident weaknesses.

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