Keeping passengers and aviation crews safe is a top priority in the aviation security industry. In order to effectively improve and maintain security measures, a comprehensive understanding of the most prominent threats to aviation security is required. Over the years, there have been a number of events and catalysts that have threatened aviation security measures, and today, though the threats are fewer in number thanks to advancing technologies, they are still very serious and dangerous.
When it comes to international threats, terrorist activity is one of the top threats to aviation security. From suicide bombers, attempted highjackings, explosive devices, and more, terrorists can cause harm and panic. Hijackings are somewhat uncommon nowadays, but the threat remains. With heightened security measures designed to prevent dangerous individuals and materials on flights, the threat of terrorist attacks while in the air is limited, but aviation security personnel are still working to further reduce the threat and continue to protect passengers and crew.
Though drones have been used by the government for military purposes, more unmanned systems are on the market today for personal use. Many of these commercialized drones cannot reach the heights that other aircraft do, but the risk of collision is still high. Like birds, drones can cause damage to aircraft and even result in a crash. Additionally, the potential for weaponized drones used for terroristic or otherwise malicious purposes continues to increase over time, making drones a recent but serious threat.
Cybersecurity is another priority given the potential for inexpensive attacks conducted on data systems as well as flight controls. Cyber attacks are inexpensive to carry out, and they can pose a significant threat to the security of sensitive information as well as the lives and safety of individuals on any given flight. Cyber attacks can be launched from virtually any location, so it has become imperative that aviation security personnel prioritize the development and improvement of cybersecurity measures.
In many ways, lasers are used as entertainment, but for airplanes and other aviary vehicles, lasers can be deadly. When used maliciously, laser beams can blind pilots; a laser pointed into the cockpit of a plane, for instance, will fill the cabin with light, resulting in unsafe conditions for airline crew members and passengers alike.
In some regions, traditional city issues such as homeless populations, drug abuse, and petty crime are moving to populate airports. The challenge for aviation security personnel is accurately identifying who could be a threat to airport functionality as well as public order and homeland security and acting appropriately on these conclusions. This development is relatively recent, so determining how best to proceed in a way that best benefits passengers, businesses, and airport protocol is still uncertain.