Airport Business - 28

PERIMETER SECURITY
AUTHOR Johnathan Tal

AIRPORT SECURITY
IN THE AGE OF COVID

Know your risks when choosing the right solutions to address potential
security issues.
IN 2011, a major California airport hired a risk
management/risk assessment organization to look for
weak security points at their facility. The assessment
evaluated several high-tech security measures the
airport currently had in place and suggested new
measures airport administrators could take to beef
up protection and reduce potential threats and risks.

Among the recommendations to
consider were a new generation of more
robust baggage scanners, backscatter
X-ray equipment and full-body scanners
- all technologies that have played a much
more significant role in airport security
since 9/11.
There were also some low-tech
recommendations. For instance, the
risk assessment organization found weak
points in the airport's perimeter. Often
airports rely on surveillance beams and
cameras to protect their boundaries, but
these systems are not always dependable.
In this case, there were areas where
someone could possibly get onto the
airfield, innocently or with malicious
or dangerous intent.
As we mentioned, this was a large
airport. Change sometimes moves slowly
in any large facility, even when it involves
security. Indeed, when it came to one

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOHNATHAN TAL

Johnathan Tal is CEO of TAL Global. Based
in Silicon Valley, TAL Global is a leading
risk management, security consulting, and
investigative agency serving airports and
other clients all over the world. He can be
reached through his company website.

security measure recommended, change
did come too late.
On April 16, 2014, a 16-year-old
boy managed to get on the airfield and
stow away on a flight from California to
Hawaii, by hiding in the plane's wheel
well. Surviving cold temperatures at
38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen, " the kid
is lucky to be alive, " said FBI spokesman
Tom Simon in Honolulu. Noting the boy
was unconscious for the lion's share of
the f light, " he doesn't even remember
the flight. "
The airport we are discussing here is
San Jose International Airport. The risk
management/assessment organization
was my company, TAL Global, based in
Silicon Valley. Since then, we have gone
on to work with airport administrators
in all parts of the world, helping them
minimize risks, threats and even
unexpected events - including stowaways.

Security
Recommendations
While many of the recommendations we
provided to airport administrators are
specific to their facilities, several can apply
to airports worldwide and especially those
here at home:
Security Questioning: Security
questioning is a technique often

28 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / DECEMBER 2020

associated with Israel's Ben Gurion
Airport. It involves asking passengers
a series of questions. The answers to
these questions are almost irrelevant.
Authorities are looking for behaviors and
body language that experience indicates
could be " red flags. "
Security questioning is also used
in some American airports, but there,
the answers are what agents focus on.
Passengers may be asked one or several
times, " Did you pack your bags yourself? "
or " Have your bags been out of your
possession? "
These questions are used as a
deterrent but are not necessarily designed
to stop a passenger. Their answers are a
statement. If, for example, a bomb was
found in a passenger's luggage, it would
be more difficult for the traveler to avoid
a conviction claiming they had no idea
how the device got there
Behavioral Pattern Technologies:
These technologies are the high-tech
version of security questioning. Taking
center stage shortly after 9/11, these
technologies look for unique behaviors
often associated with airport users
planning unlawful activity. These systems
are designed to fill the gap left by most
common security approaches that rely
primarily on the detection of banned
items but ignore the people who carry
them. While some of these systems use
different forms of " racial profiling, " many
airport administrators have decided that
when it comes to airport and passenger
security, they must place security
concerns first.
Randomized Canine Inspections:
At a Congressional hearing in July
2011, William Parker, the inspector-



Airport Business

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport Business

Inside the Fence: Once in a Lifetime
Industry Update
Hindsight is 20/20
Remote Airport Deploys Open Platform Video to Monitor Facilities, Secure Operations, Connect wth Clients
Airport Guru: General Aviation Airports: A National Asset
Mitigating Public Safety Risks – Let's Fly Again!
Contact Tracing and COVID-19 Technology Best Practices
Cover Story: Less Touch, More Travel
Taking to the Sky in 2021
Are We Over Disinfecting Airports?
Airport Security in the Age of COVID
The New Norms of Aviation Catering
Safe and Secure Travel in the Age of COVID
Legal Matters: Single FBO Airports: Is There an Impermissible Exclusive Right? What Can You Do About It?
Product Profile: A Customizable Fueling Experience
Airport Business - 1
Airport Business - 2
Airport Business - 3
Airport Business - 4
Airport Business - Inside the Fence: Once in a Lifetime
Airport Business - Industry Update
Airport Business - 7
Airport Business - 8
Airport Business - 9
Airport Business - Hindsight is 20/20
Airport Business - 11
Airport Business - Remote Airport Deploys Open Platform Video to Monitor Facilities, Secure Operations, Connect wth Clients
Airport Business - 13
Airport Business - Airport Guru: General Aviation Airports: A National Asset
Airport Business - 15
Airport Business - Mitigating Public Safety Risks – Let's Fly Again!
Airport Business - 17
Airport Business - Contact Tracing and COVID-19 Technology Best Practices
Airport Business - 19
Airport Business - Cover Story: Less Touch, More Travel
Airport Business - 21
Airport Business - 22
Airport Business - 23
Airport Business - 24
Airport Business - Taking to the Sky in 2021
Airport Business - Are We Over Disinfecting Airports?
Airport Business - 27
Airport Business - Airport Security in the Age of COVID
Airport Business - 29
Airport Business - The New Norms of Aviation Catering
Airport Business - 31
Airport Business - 32
Airport Business - 33
Airport Business - Safe and Secure Travel in the Age of COVID
Airport Business - 35
Airport Business - 36
Airport Business - 37
Airport Business - Legal Matters: Single FBO Airports: Is There an Impermissible Exclusive Right? What Can You Do About It?
Airport Business - 39
Airport Business - Product Profile: A Customizable Fueling Experience
Airport Business - 41
Airport Business - 42
Airport Business - 43
Airport Business - 44
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