Airport Security Plan
Airport Security Plan
Table of Contents
Air transport is one of the most growing forms of transport due to the evolving nature of the world’s economy (Uniting Aviation, 2018). At the same rate is the growing of risks and insecurities associated with aircraft travel. These threats and uncertainties include terrorism and crime activities that are major causes of illegal immigration, air transport disruptions, and deaths. As a result, airport security plans are techniques designed to manage airport operations and protect passengers, aircraft, and staff from the threats. These plans may vary from one airport to the other, depending on their location and objectives. Below is a report on the security plan of Singapore Changi Airport for check-in counter to gate hold room screening operations and safeguarding of an aircraft. Detecting all possible hiding locations for explosives and prohibited items, the plan identifies several security preventive measures that can be undertaken to curb these threats. The beginning is an analysis of the threats and risks facing the various airports’ assets and the probability of occurrence. There then is a description of the areas of concern or risk and recommended measures to mitigate them. Lastly, a contingency plan of maintaining the ultimate airport secure and safe environment is suggested. The report adheres to the Annex 17 of the ICAO to ensure that all the required measures are met and shall meet the expectations of the Airport authorities (INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION, 2006).
Singapore Changi Airport operates on a 13-square-kilometer field with a wide range of assets to offer travelers the best services ( Bates, 2020). Since it was opened, the airport has won more than 620 awards for being the best airport in the world ( Lee, 2020). Handling a maximum of 85 million passengers, the airport has a total of five major passenger terminals (Singapore’s Changi Airport, 2019). In addition, there is a luxury terminal called The JetQuay CIP Terminal. It offers fee charged services to all classes of passengers on all airlines from any of the terminals. There are also other Departures and Arrivals Terminals used by codeshare flights and are managed by different airlines. The airport has two runways that are both installed with instrument landing systems to ensure aircraft safety under all conditions. The airport operates under two main fire stations located along the two runways together with navigation aids and lightings to offer maximum security. Strategically located between the two runways is a Control Tower that controls departure and landing of aircraft, and aerodrome maneuvering of the airport’s operations. Singapore airlines have several check-in counters that open three hours before the departure of a flight. There are automated bag drops for passengers who would like to check in earlier. There are also special check-in counters for the less privileged such as disabled travelers, expectant women, and minors. The airport has a hotel, The Crowne Plaza Hotel, which is easily accessible from all the terminals. The hotel is well equipped with 320 guest rooms and was in 2018, ranked the best airport hotel globally (Chen, 2020). Changi Airport is a very busy hub as it manages large tonnes of air cargo which are handled through their electronic systems.
Singapore Changi Airport is exposed to a variety of risks and threats that affect its operations. The most common threat that the airport has had to deal with is the disruption of unauthorized drones (Huiwen, 2019). Drones put aircraft at great risk due to the dense substances contained in them. The previous disruption affected more than 20 carriers including Singapore Airlines (Wong, 2019). Another risk faced by Changi Airport is the increased cost of fuel which is affecting its growth due to the increased operating costs. Consequently, the lack of cost-efficient competitive advantage in the industry has been a huge downside risk to the Airport. Compared to its competitors, Singapore Airport is experiencing slow growth. Singapore Changi Airport is also facing the threat of increased competition in the industry (LEO, 2020). More specifically, its aviation hub is experiencing challenges and competition from other geographically better-located hubs in other airports (Bhaskaran, 2017). Besides, their high costs are causing airports to shift their hubs from the airport, which is a major source of losses and reduced profits. For instance, Luxembourg has gotten into a new agreement with Indonesia to move their cargo operations from Singapore to Batam (BUSINESS, 2017). Their incompetency in competition has further led to a major loss in the airport’s equity markets. Statistics reveal that 58 companies have withdrawn from the Singapore Changi Airport Exchange (Müller, 2020). The airport is, therefore, facing overwhelming competition from rivals that it previously outdid.
Disruption from drones is a repetitive threat that Singapore Changi Airport has had to deal with (Florentino, 2019). The most previous case happened last year, just after a similar incident (Ngai, 2019). The threat is not only evident in Singapore but also other airports in the United States and China. There is a high probability of disruptions and aircraft delays caused by drones mainly due to the increasing demand and availability of drones (Khawaja, Guvenc, Matolak, Fiebig, & Schneckenburg, 2019). Drones have become easily accessible to the public and thus the continued effects if not safely operated. Incursions from drones are more likely to continue even in the near future if the necessary measures are not taken into account. The movement of drones should be well monitored and authorized and the airport parameters well-drawn (BHASKARAN, 2018). Aviation competition is at a constantly increasing rate in the industry (Nava, Meleo, Cassetta, & Morelli, 2018). Tiny and incumbent competitors even from niche regions are continuously emerging in the industry. This is due to the incompetency of big airports such as that of Singapore which consequently creates loopholes in the market. There is a certain probability that Chinga Airport will eventually be outdone by its competitors if they do not respond effectively to these threats. In addition, the growth of traffic has recently been increasing constantly leading to tremendous downside risks. Delays and travel disruptions have repeatedly caused frustrations and dissatisfaction among its passengers.
Unauthorized drones lead to the disruption and delays of aircraft. In the Singapore Chinga Airport attack from drones of 2019, the disruption led to the delays of more than 25 aircraft in the airport (YOUJIN, 2020). This was not only to the flights of Singapore Airlines but also AirAsia and Garuda. The congestion, cancellation, and delays of flights cause frustration and dissatisfaction to passengers. Besides, passengers are not assured of their safety and hence do not trust the airport’s services. Drones are risky as they impede an aircraft as it lands or during taking offs. The dense substances such as plastics and metals contained in drones can cause huge damages to aircraft due to the harsh collisions. Generally, they affect the smooth operations of airports along with causing collateral damages. As if that is not enough, the measures and processes in preventing and disabling drones are costly and complicated. Airports have to look for the most effective solutions that will not cause further risks. Airports have to work closely with the drones-flying managements to ensure that drone-flyers adhere to regulations and guidelines (Jung-Sup, 2019). The increased costs of Singapore Airport have impacted it negatively. The airport has lost its competitive advantage and power to small airports that were not a threat earlier. It is due to these threats and risks that the airport has lost its global equity market position. The high taxes imposed on travelers have constituted to the eventual loss of business headquarters for the airport as most travelers cannot afford its services (White, Agrawal, & Williams, 2019). Many companies have delisted themselves from previous agreements and no longer use it for their international operations (Minter, 2019). Due to the increased competition, Chinga Airport will involuntarily have to lower its costs below those of its rivals. Besides, the airport should consider working with or partnering with some of its competitors to re-establish the Growth Triangle.
Airport security measures are all the attempts of an airport to safeguard travelers, crew, staff, and the aircraft from malicious security threats and unlawful disruptions (Alards-Tomalin, et al., 2014). Basing the report on the airport requirements in Annex 17 of the ICAO, the Singapore Chinga Airport has various objectives in its preventive security measures. Its main goal and objective are to maintain the ultimate security and safety of its passengers, crew, and all stakeholders involved in its operations (Government of Singapore, 2017). All aircraft users should be kept safe from any disruptions and unlawful hindrances (Huttunen, 2019). These hindrances include terrorist activities, thefts, bombs, and threats to property safety. The airport also works to ensure that the safety of the societies they operate in and the general public are maintained (Murphey, 2019 ). It is their objective to implement and emphasize on regulations and practices that safeguard stakeholder’s safety through a management team or organization. The team should be responsible for safeguarding travelers and the whole crew both at the ground and during a flight. Besides, they should be able to quickly and efficiently respond and offer solutions to security threats and crises. Security programs should be well written and the privacy of aviation information adhered to (Cooper, Handler, & Edwards, 2019). Focusing on the immediate operations of the Chinga Airport, the airport management works to maintain safety at the check-in counter, hold baggage screening system, transit area, immigration area, gate hold room, and the aircraft (Sek, 2015).
This is a critical airport security enforcement stage that has been greatly underrated in the past. The Check-in counter is a task that faces several challenges ranging from the worker’s health to air transport safety. To maintain the ultimate success and safety of the Singapore Chinga Airport, the needs and challenges faced by check-in counter workers have to be addressed. A preventive measure should be taken properly and adequately equipping the staff. The feminism image of this work should be cut so as to hire the best equipped and suitable individuals for the task. As the check-in counter stage is the first contact with travelers, the staff should display maximum competency in their job. In-service training should be prioritized with performance reviews to ensure maximum compliance. Not only should the check-in workers be trained in the classroom, but also equipped with practical skills on how to handle and manage different passengers. A good percentage of airport insecurities and conflicts are attributed to violent and abusive passengers. Consequently, intolerance to workplace violence and hostility in the airport should be campaigned for. This is to ensure the safety and security of other travelers, the airport staff, and crew. The airport should prioritize in their check-in system to prevent similar terrorist plots and experiences from the past. One such case is the scenario of perpetrators who were moving from the United Kingdom. They menaced to blow off liquid-based explosives in the aircraft. Another incidence was when a traveler hid an explosive device in his underwear in the attempt of smuggling it onto an aircraft. Learning from these cases, Singapore Changi Airport should reinforce its check-in security procedures. Attempts of smuggling items should be identified early, that is, at the check-in counters stage. The airport should be free to restrict sprayers, liquids, and any other hazards that could jeopardize the aircraft’s safety.
In the hold baggage screening system, prior screening of hold baggage should be done before loading them into the aircraft. In any case of jeopardization with the baggage, it should be rescreened before being put in the carrier. During the flight, the security system should ensure that the hold baggage in the carrier is safe and free from unauthorized access. Furthermore, there are other criminal cases where terrorists perpetrate unaccompanied bags that contain dangerous devices. Recent crime cases show that terrorists are even willing to commit suicide in the process. Such a case is the Lockerbie scenario that led to the death of 259 people (CNN Editorial Research, 2019). Consequently, not only should such baggage be extensively screened, but also risk assessment should be done with emphasis. It is not until this baggage meets the transportation standards that they should be accepted into the air carrier.
To ensure the utmost security and safety at the Singapore Changi Airport, several preventive security measures need to be established in the transit area. Security law enforcement workers should, at all times, remain keen to pick up any hints or signs portrayed by passengers. Transit areas should also work as checkpoints where any form of suspicion is detected and dealt with accordingly. Security workers in the areas should employ the use of screening and X-ray equipment to efficiently detect threats or risks. The implementation of the Certis Integrated Operations Centre (CIOC) could also serve best in keeping a track of responsible personnel for the roles in the transit areas. Through its high closed-circuit television (CCTV) of 2000, security workers will be able to maintain close monitoring of the transit area and hence quick response in case of threats (Voronkov & Coninsx, 2019).
In cases of immigration, proper preventive security measures should be implemented to prevent illegal immigration. Immigration issues are in close relations with crime and terrorist activities and thus should be exhaustively monitored and prevented. First, for maximum security, the airport has to work in close partnership with the border control management and police forces. As per the requirements of ICAO, all information on immigration should be openly shared to strengthen border controls. Coordination and reinforcement of strict immigration rules will demotivate illegal immigrants thus promoting safety and security. Additionally, for Departure Immigration security screenings and X-rays should be prioritized at all terminals and boarding gates.
At the gate hold rooms, a thorough inspection of passengers should be conducted. More specifically, travel documents such as boarding passes and passports should be checked. Security enforcement officers have to be present to control the checkpoints and manage the queues. Hold room gates also serve to prevent conflicts and crisis by providing a waiting space for passengers. That way, passengers cannot miss their flight or be left once they are at the gate. In this stage, when passengers are less aware and conscious, police officers could take an opportunity to identify a path of an attack. Though not highly reported as a target for terrorism, unsuspicious behaviors could be noticed thus serving to prevent a possible major attack in a targeted area. Being a part of the airport environment, the gate hold room could be a possible hiding location for explosives and prohibited items hence raising the need for thorough inspections and personnel and object screenings (Kennedy, 2018).
In the protection of the aircraft, the operators should take the responsibility of maintaining ultimate security. This stretches out to the aircraft, the travelers, and the contents transported in it. As outlined in the ICAO Annex 17, the aircraft cockpit should be fully secured. The doors should be reinforced such that they are bulletproof and resistant to gunshots. There have been cases where hijackers have used the aircraft’s cockpits to crash planes. In addition, only the authorized individuals should be allowed in the cockpit; mostly the pilot and the flight attendant. With two people in the cockpit, the cockpit door should then remain closed. This again is to prevent access or entry by unauthorized individuals. Air transport operators should ensure that there are no items left onboard planes by disembarking passengers. Security checks should be frequently conducted to help with the same. Lastly, restrictions on access control should be emphasized. All passengers and individuals should be screened and background checks conducted before being given access to restricted aircraft areas. To maintain access control, individuals and vehicles should produce airport verified permits. Contrary to producing the authorization permits, incompliant individuals should be immediately reported to the security enforcement systems (Nowacki & Paszukow, 2018).
The Singapore Changi Airport needs to have a contingency plan to prevent and manage disruptions to its operations. First, the airport should hire and maintain trained personnel for its operations. The airport should establish an efficient emergency operating system. This is to ensure that any unpredicted cases of threats or hostility are dealt with immediate effect. The airport workers should be adequately equipped and trained in their roles. Besides, the jobs of all airport staff including check-in counter workers, screening staff, and the crew are repetitive. As a result, the staff or stakeholders should be adequately motivated to remain upfront and ready for their everyday tasks. The airport should consider implementing technologically advanced electronic equipment for most roles. Rather than the eye-checking procedure of detecting suspicious passengers, airport employees would more efficiently use X-rays and electronic screeners to detect any harmful devices carried. They should also innovate several practices such as the security check-ups to speed up operations and minimize the length of queues in the gate rooms (Lüke, Walther, & Wäldchen, 2018).
Singapore Chinga Airport should work to maintain a maximum safe and secure environment. It should prioritize most of the targeted areas by terrorists such as the check-in counter, hold baggage screening systems, transit area, immigration area, gate hold rooms, and the aircraft. The main objective and long-term goal of the airport is to provide a seamless experience to its passengers and ensure that the whole staff and stakeholders are safe. To do so, security enforcement officers have to be empowered and equipped with the necessary equipment for the work. Only competent workers should be hired and continued training and development opportunities made available to them. Passengers should also be made aware of the airport’s rules and regulations; outlining what exactly is expected of them. Besides, to ensure that the airport retains its competitive advantage in the industry, passenger’s needs and expectations, and especially low costs and comfortable flights should be met. All the airport stakeholders have a critical role to play to ensure the mitigation and proper management of security hindrances.
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