AVSEC World Blog
Thursday, March 7
It’s Time to Say Goodbye
So, AVSEC World 21 is history and what a week it’s been. The room remained full, the conversations strong, and the expectations of the participants high. This has been a great AVSEC World—we’ve had a chance to talk about some long term topics and we’ve also added cyber into that list. We’ve heard from some old friends, and we’ve seen lots of new faces. We’ll leave New York thanking JetBlue for their unfailing hospitality and look forward to continuing the discussion at AVSEC World 22.
The panel debated what capacity building means to them. All had their own perspectives, but agreed that it was about helping countries, airports or authorities meet regulatory requirements, ultimately delivering a secure (and sustainably secure) environment. Capacity building can also mean advancing technology or processes within the more developed regimes to provide a secure environment that meets the needs of the future. Assessment of the culture, political will and desire to improve are all factors in designing a project to provide assistance. Solutions need to be sustainable and built for the specific environment, requiring trust and long term investment in relationships.
Getting Maximum Value from Security
Nick Cartwright made an insightful presentation about measuring the value of security. The panel discussed the difficulty with financially measuring the massive impact on the whole industry and ultimately the economy of a security incident occurring. The move towards outcome-focused risk-based security ultimately aims to get more value from the measures implemented, and a better experience for passengers.
Pressing the Edge - Technology
The panel looked at what lies ahead in terms of technology facilitating the future of aviation security. There is a lot of innovation taking place but we need to make the leap to broader deployment; the challenges are funding and regulatory environment.
Our takeaway from the technology session was Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws of prediction…
- When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
- The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
So we look forward to seeing some magic in the Checkpoint of the Future!
This Morning - Cargo Security
Hot topics of conversation were the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) program in the US and the EU requirement for ACC3 designation of air cargo carriers.
Challenges with cargo security were felt to be the sheer size of the community involved and the need to engage all the players, including shippers, forwarders, agents, consigners and carriers. The perennial problem of harmonization of requirements and programs was also discussed and the need to educate all stations worldwide on upcoming requirements. The audience felt that more work needs to be done, but there was acceptance that advances will take time.
Last Night – Mingling with Morpho
Delegates enjoyed a cocktail party hosted by Morpho Detection, taking the opportunity to network with colleagues and catch up with old friends.
Wednesday - 6 March
Passenger Data – the Great Debate
Stewart Baker a former senior official of the US DHS and Peter Schaar, Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Germany, had a lively debate about the use of passenger data. They did not see eye to eye, but the audience was almost unanimous that passenger data will be a critical factor in security risk assessment going forward.
A Hot Topic - Cyber Security
Shawn Henry, President, CrowdStrike Services gave a rousing presentation about cyber threats, underlining the reality that sophisticated adversaries are able to breach any system. Offense already outreaches the defenses in place and cyber attacks are happening routinely across all systems. Adversaries are organized criminal groups and terrorist organizations, as well as foreign intelligence services. This is a serious threat to aviation, and is now a big focus for the industry.
Steve Jackson from Qantas talked about mitigation plans. His key messages were that the threat reality is not well understood. Security professionals need to work with IT experts and ensure a security culture is implemented throughout the business. We need to protect the perimeter and critical information and collaborate with partners including aircraft manufacturers. In summary, control what you can control and protect your crown jewels.
We’re certain to hear a lot more about cyber security at future AVSEC Worlds.
Wednesday: Screening – Whatever next?
A panel of experts got together this morning to debate advances in passenger screening. After watching a video demonstrating the Checkpoint of the Future vision and roadmap, Sander Olivier from the Dutch Civil Aviation Security Department presented the SURE concept, Smart, Unpredictable, Risk Based Entry. Key concepts are unpredictability and risk assessment according to flight or passenger type.
Neil Parry from CATSA talked about advances in Canada, including measurement of the effectiveness of the screening process, automation of existing processes and a focus on customer service. Will Hargett from Morpho Detection, and Jose Freig of US Airways joined the presenters for a lively panel discussion on risk-based analysis, the importance of randomness and a layered approach to security. Polling of the audience concluded that intelligence and behavior detection were felt to be the most important contributing elements of risk assessment.
Wednesday: Keynote by John Miller – Surfing the media wave
John Miller, senior correspondent for CBS News likened handling an emerging media crisis to surfing. “You can’t control the wave, but you can manage how you ride it.” Companies need to have a communications plan ahead of a crisis but accept that they will need to speak to the media “before you are ready.” He said, “Get the good news out fast and the bad news out faster. Unlike fine wine, bad news does not improve with age.” He also advised: “Never ever ever lie.”
View images from Day 1 of AVSEC World
Tuesday Evening - Broadway Boys Rocked the AVSEC Community
Jet Blue hosted a fabulous evening of food and entertainment at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank Clocktower. Fortunately, nobody was trapped in the bank vault, but given the fantastic hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on offer, it wouldn’t have been too much of a hardship. The reception was followed by a wonderful dinner, accompanied by entertainment from famous sand artist Joe Castillo (as seen on America’s Got Talent) ….. and a spectacular performance by the Broadway Boys to round off the evening. A big thank you to Jet Blue for the event..
Tuesday - 5 March 5PM
We were honored that Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security provided the keynote speech at AVSEC World this morning.
She said that security has never been more effective, but that we are not yet done. We need to recommit to further partnership and collaboration in a world where aviation remains a target but we need to be able to travel freely.
Secretary Napolitano described how we have moved a long way from when TSA was first born, to today’s layered approach, with multiple measures providing many opportunities to minimize risk. The Department of Homeland Security has an ongoing commitment to security but also has a responsibility to encourage tourism and travel.
The next era will expand and accelerate movement to a risk based approach, using information and intelligence. The focus will be on strong collaboration between industry and regulators, and between states themselves. It will also rely on the best use of advancing technology, and the use of trusted shipper and trusted traveler programs to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of resources.
The Secretary was a hard act to follow, but we wrapped up the morning with a lively panel discussing risk and regulation, and a rousing performance by the Late Show’s Gospel Choir.
Tuesday - 5 March 12PM
New York, New York - so good they named it twice…
We were lucky to have two top level speakers to update us on developments on both sides of the Atlantic.
Marjeta Jager, Director Policy Coordination and Security, European Commission provided the European perspective on risk and regulation. She reiterated the EC’s commitment to the goal of lifting the LAGs ban on duty free liquids in 2014 and mentioned encouraging developments in the area of mutual recognition. She highlighted the change of mindset needed to move towards genuinely risk based security, requiring trust to recognize different systems that meet the common goal of a secure aviation system. She also highlighted the important role of technology in screening advancement.
John Pistole, Administrator, US Transportation Security Administration announced a change to the TSA Prohibited Items List. This brings the list more in line with ICAO and European requirements and is an encouraging step towards assessment of risk in the definition of security measures. It will also facilitate communication and understanding of the rules by passengers. The changes will come into effect on 25th April 2013 and demonstrates TSA’s efforts to shift the focus away from small metallic items to explosives.
Tuesday - 5 March 10AM
…Start spreading the news! AVSEC World opened bright and early on a crisp and clear New York morning with an introduction by Guenther Matschnigg, Senior Vice President, Safety, Operations and Infrastructure. He reminded us that aviation is part of New York’s history, and New York is part of aviation’s history, so we really have the perfect setting for the conference.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly highlighted the constant fight against terrorism, especially threats to New York City. To succeed in the fight against terrorism, he said that we need global intelligence systems, strategic use of resources and seamless collaboration between public and private sector. He drew a parallel between the subways of New York, the life blood of the city, and how essential the safe skies are above the city.
JetBlue CEO Dave Barger spoke about Jet Blue’s growing operations and our mission to keep a safe and secure environment. IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler called upon governments to take a more pragmatic approach to aviation security by better balancing risk and regulation. He cautioned that without that balance, "we will lose the goodwill of our passengers and shoppers.... and bring down the level of security we worked so hard to build up."
Coming next – Address by the European Commission and address by US Transportation Security Administration.
Monday - 4 March
…And live from New York, its AVSEC World!
The 21st AVSEC World at the Marriott, Brooklyn Bridge is shaping up to be a terrific event featuring a virtual Who’s Who of aviation security leaders.
International Air Transport Association Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler, will deliver an important address on the need to find the right balance between risk and regulation, and US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will present the morning keynote speech.
Other speakers include JetBlue Airways President and CEO Dave Barger, Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole and Marjeta Jager, Director for Security and Policy Coordination, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission. And that’s just on the first day!
We can't wait to see the entertainment too – we understand that host airline JetBlue Airways has a few surprises in store during the day and at the fabulous gala event planned for Tuesday evening.
Follow all the action on Twitter (@IATA) using the hashtag #AVSECWLD and watch out for more blogs from the event.