It is incredible to believe security remains an issue while traveling with today’s safety requirements for airline passengers. From full body scanners to restriction of liquids and possibly the prevention of laptop use during flights, passengers are put through rigorous tests to ensure they are safe to fly. Yet what if major threats are actually entering elsewhere than security checkpoints? This is what happened on April 20th, 2014 when San Jose transient, Yahya Abdi, jumped a perimeter fence onto the tarmac and climbed into the wheel well embarking on a journey across the Pacific to Hawaii.
Thankfully Abdi was found alive on the tarmac but this presents a larger issue: how secure are our airports? Since Abdi, there have been 10 reported “stowaways” aboard flights internationally. One teenager breached the perimeter at JFK but was caught taking a selfie before he could enter a plane. Additionally, the Chicago Tribune reports that “intruders breach U.S. airport fences about every 10 days” since 2012. “Five intruders brought knives and one a loaded gun.” Airports such as JFK and San Jose International both exceed FAA safety regulations and the TSA provides additional regulations regarding the security of secured areas, however, breaches occur. Given the current political tide it is not ill-conceived to believe that security regulations may become stricter with the inclusion of perimeter and gate security reporting. Regardless of the regulations airports should proactively utilize intelligent security software to enhance the safety of their customers, employees, and tenants.
Security management software is available today to automate and facilitate the inspecting and reporting of airport gates, perimeters and other vulnerable assets. Software can be customized for individual gates and perimeters. Furthermore, today’s user friendly software will facilitate the jobs of inspectors and administrators resulting in increased productivity and job satisfaction. The use of software for security reporting can be done from airside locations to landside locations by an inspector in the field on his tablet or smartphone. Submissions into a centralized system may alert necessary personnel of security incidences in real-time while also allowing airports to digitize and archive all inspections and incident report forms. Lastly, security management software will allow tracking of security breaches and detection of vulnerabilities to prevent further occurrences through the use of heat maps and trend analysis allowing authorities to pinpoint problem areas and address security issues.
It is clear that airports should be actively using innovative security software solutions for their airport needs. Those who take action promptly will be benefitted through favorable standing with the FAA, higher productivity, and most importantly—safer customers, employees, and tenants.