Aviation is a globalized network business, so it needs a global approach to ensuring security. Unilateral actions are not very effective. Industry needs to be consulted, to be given the opportunity to present ideas and to have time to implement new measures. If last year’s rapid implementation of the ban on large Portable Electronic Devices was an example of how not to do it, then this year’s rollout of new measures on powders demonstrates that lessons have been learned. A globalized approach was taken and industry and governments were engaged, with time provided before measures were implemented.
More broadly, security continues to be challenged by familiar issues. Information can still be siloed; much of today’s airport screening equipment is showing its age—and losing relevance to evolving threats. At the same time, highly-touted new technology may not perform as well in real life as in the lab—witness the experience with systems that were supposed to enable the LAGs ban to be lifted in Europe.
Governments must put more resources into the development of security screening technology. Because without it, the industry will face major challenges accommodating the increase in passenger numbers. Trusted traveler systems can be an important part of the solution, but there is still mistrust of governments using passenger information in some parts of the world.
In spite of the challenges, however, government and industry stakeholders continue to deliver a system that is secure. Bottom line: the security glass is far more than half-full.