Section 1 – Introduction
The Civil Aviation industry has been around for over 100 years, since Tony Jannus piloted a plane across Tampa Bay, Florida on January 1st, 1914. Today, more than 3.3 billion people utilize aviation and take to the air each year . Whether it’s for business or visiting family, the Civil Aviation industry has revolutionized the way people connect, interact and conduct business. This ability to bring people together from different parts of the globe, known as aviation connectivity, has been the catalyst for economic growth, connecting individuals from all over the globe ultimately fueling the global economy.
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler, spoke about aviation’s role in the global economy and stated “aviation is helping fuel the growth of the global economy. It brings people together – families, friends and business colleagues. It helps minds to meet and exchange ideas in forums. It gives people the freedom to be almost anywhere in just 24 hours. And it has turned our wonderfully big planet into a wonderfully small world of enormous and wonderful opportunities.”
The aviation industry is truly the lifeblood of the global economy; it supports over 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in annual economic activity . It stimulates tourism, supports and creates jobs for farmers who sell fresh produce and flowers in world markets, and facilitates global supply chains to support collaboration among workers in different countries to build cars, airplanes and computers. Aviation helps deliver many of the real world goods that are traded in global markets and has been the catalyst for global economic and social development.
With the increase in popularity and usage of aviation, there has been a “transportation revolution” around the world, which has paved the way for rapid and free movement of people, commodities and services on a global scale . This is known as globalization and provides many positives for our world, but regretfully has a negative side as well. Beyond any doubt, the emergence of terrorism as a global threat is the biggest challenge facing the Civil Aviation and security industries.
Terrorism has evolved into a major geopolitical factor, capable of causing systematic crises at a global scale. And by virtue of its functional significance and vulnerability, Civil Aviation is increasingly becoming the focus of the operational activity of different terrorist groups . High taxes and a lack of resources and a proper infrastructure can hinder the performance and efficiency of Civil Aviation Security from identifying potential suspects and uncovering criminal activity. In addition to the threat of terrorism, aviation has been used as a hotbed for a plethora of other criminal activity, such as drug smuggling and passengers traveling under false names and documents. This makes it critical to take practical and necessary steps toward improving the security capabilities at international points of entry such as airports.
Section 2 – Solution: Securiport’s Civil Aviation and Immigration Security Services (CAISS)
With the increase in globalization and aviation connectivity, criminal activity and the threat of attacks on aircrafts by terrorists remain persistent and growing concerns for our world. Countries around the globe have a number of safeguards in place to prevent attacks against commercial aircrafts such as security checkpoints at airports where passengers and their carry-on items are screened for dangerous objects, such as weapons and explosives. Historically, however, screeners who operate checkpoints in the U.S. have had difficulty in detecting potentially dangerous situations, missing as many as 20% during tests .
With the large number of passengers traveling through airports every day, it is critical that immigration and security checkpoints are equipped with the proper resources and infrastructure needed to identify potential security risks and criminal activity. Countries should look to implement intelligent Civil Aviation solutions that utilize the latest technology, such as Securiport’s Civil Aviation and Immigration Security Services (CAISS).
Securiport, a global leader in the design and implementation of passenger biometric recognition, immigration control systems, and intelligent information management and reporting software systems, is committed to the Science of Safer Nations by empowering governments to enhance their Civil Aviation Security and combat criminal activity. Securiport’s Integrated Immigration Control System (IICS) is a comprehensive security solution that empowers border management and immigration officials. The IICS utilizes advanced biometric identification systems and provides proprietary intelligent information used to identify potential security risks and criminal activity, further strengthening the effectiveness of their security capabilities.
When coupled with Securiport’s Intelligent Information Management System, a methodology for cross-referencing passenger information across international traveler databases, such as INTERPOL’s I-24/7, the CAISS provides governments, airport security, and immigration officials with a comprehensive set of traveler data and information that can be used to confirm a passenger’s identity and uncover certain security risks. The CAISS also includes Watch-list Management, which crosschecks passenger information against multiple government databases and performs real-time identification checks. Implementing a solution such a Securiport’s CAISS, governments and airport security officials can drastically improve the performance and effectiveness of airport security checkpoints and better prevent terrorists and criminals from illegally entering or leaving their country’s borders.
Beyond increasing the performance and effectiveness of airport security checkpoints, countries and airliners can work together to strengthen Civil Aviation Security by improving the passenger experience. Earlier this year, Securiport was named a Strategic Partner to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and has been involved in discussions within program areas of expertise such as Security and Passenger Experience. As a contributing member of the Passenger Experience area of expertise, Securiport has focused on improving the passenger experience across 14 steps, including security and immigration processes.
Many key stakeholders within the Civil Aviation industry are very optimistic about mobile technology helping the industry to meet passengers’ expectations and to provide a more seamless experience going through security and immigration checkpoints. Having a better-defined process in place that incorporates modern technology and intelligent systems creates a more streamlined airport experience, and therefore will improve the capabilities and effectiveness of airport security checkpoints.
Section 3 – Benefits to Governments
Through implementing Securiport’s Civil Aviation and Immigration Security Services and other various security solutions, countries such as Honduras could benefit greatly. In recent months, the Government of the Republic of Honduras has been working to prevent and reduce human and narcotic traffickers as well as other criminals from illegally crossing its borders. Honduras and the U.S. held a High Level Security Dialogue to discuss ways the U.S. and Honduras can continue to work together to strengthen both countries’ borders. Honduras highlighted its notable successes over the past year, including the extradition of major drug traffickers to the United States and an impressive drop in the homicide rate. Honduras also outlined its strategy for countering threats like transnational organized crime and trafficking in persons and drugs .
By strengthening airport security capabilities and improving traveler safety, governments such as the Honduran government, can substantially decrease the amount of resources needed to monitor and deter criminals from illegally entering or leaving the country. To help accomplish this, Securiport provides a substantial investment in the technology, training, and processes for countries in regards to immigration and security. This ensures the security officials are equipped with the necessary knowledge and resources to improve their security capabilities with little to no investment from the country itself.
With the assistance of Securiport, implementing advanced solutions such as the Integrated Immigration Control System and Intelligent Information Management and Profiling, Honduras can substantially improve their border security and dismantle human smuggling networks and other criminal activity. Just last year, Securiport’s Intelligent Information Management Data Analytics enabled international authorities to interdict a Senegal-based human trafficking ring, resulting in numerous criminal arrests. In addition, Securiport’s IICS assisted in the identification and arrest of an individual traveling with a stolen passport, who belonged to a vast network of counterfeiters.
By leveraging these systems, countries such as Honduras will be able to equip themselves with the actionable data and necessary information needed to keep all of ports of entry secure. This creates safer and more secure nations.
Section 4 – Summary & Conclusion
In today’s interconnected world, Civil Aviation plays a powerful and impactful role in fueling the global economy. It has the power to bridge cultural gaps and bring people together from all over the world. But with great power, also comes great responsibility. It is up to governments and their countries to take proactive steps towards strengthening their Civil Aviation Security capabilities.
With the growing popularity and freedom to travel basically anywhere in the world with Civil Aviation, many individuals and criminal organizations are taking advantage of systems in place to conduct illegal activity such as smuggling narcotics, weapons, and even humans. In addition, Civil Aviation has increasingly become the focus of the operational activity of various terrorist organizations as a subject, rather than an implement, of their actions . Due to these increased security risks, it is paramount that airports and security checkpoints are equipped with the necessary technology, resources, processes, systems, and training needed to effectively identify potential security risks and criminal activity.
Securiport’s Integrated Immigration Control System (IICS) can help countries, such as Honduras, strengthen their airport security capabilities. By implementing an intelligent solution that utilizes the most advanced technologies (such as biometric identification systems), and is connected with international traveler databases, security officials are provided a comprehensive set of traveler data and information that can be used to confirm a passenger’s identity and uncover certain security risks.
By leveraging these systems, government officials and immigration officers will be able to equip themselves with the actionable data and necessary information needed to keep all ports of entry secure, ultimately creating safer and more secure nations. This creates a complete Civil Aviation Security solution, one that elicits safer travels, more secure nations and is tailored to provide benefits to both travelers and governments.