Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 24, 2011

Aviation Security: Curbside to Cockpit

Filed under: Aviation Security — by Jessica Herrera-Flanigan on January 24, 2011

In a recent speech to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security,  Transportation Security Administrator John S. Pistole discussed the need for aviation security to be “curbside to cockpit.”

Unfortunately, today’s attack at the Domodedovo Airport on the outskirts of Moscow (the busiest airport in Eastern Europe),  demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive approach to aviation security.  The attack today killed 29 people in a waiting area for arriving passengers, just outside the Customs area. Another 50 were hospitalized, including  35 who were listed in critical condition.  As in most airports, the area struck was outside the security zone.

In response to the attack, TSA stated  “We are monitoring the tragedy at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. As always, we are working with our international partners to share information regarding the latest terrorist tactics and security best practices.”

This response by TSA is a reasoned one that hopefully will prevail in the coming days over more reactionary ones.  Today’s incident demonstrates how complicated aviation security is, not only in the U.S., but internationally. Threats can be mitigated, but they must be done so through risk management and cooperation globally.   The creation of international standards and strengthened information and intelligence sharing for terrorist attacks are also both critical tools.

As the U.S.  further develops its “curbside to cockpit” vision for aviation security, it should recognize that security must be layered and that  VIPR teams, explosive detection technologies, canines, and behavioral patterns are all important parts of a security program.   Just as important is the recognition that not all travelers are the same and mechanisms for getting low-risk travelers in and out of airports quickly, while focusing government attention on those that are higher risk is critical to our future efforts.

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 24, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

Yes to AIRPORT security not just AIRLINE security. Passengers are the targets and clustering in the terminal and just outside make excellent targets.
Now the question? Did US INTEL have any inkling of the attack?

Comment by Cold blooded murder: Terrorism continues....

January 25, 2011 @ 9:32 am

It is interesting to note how El Al has carried its passengers and assured safe travel to those of us who have utilized their hospitality as well as their discreet and complete understanding as to who is boarding the aircraft.

As far as the cold blooded murder taking place globally by those professing dastardly deed and quite intent in seeking the demise of our belloved Republic as well as organizing, ordering and acting in dastardly deed toward fellow man everywhere, the lessns will be harsh and our fortitude will be tested, yet We – humanity will survive the cowardice actions and evil intent of those willing to kill another in cold blood. What a pity.

Oh…the complexities of living in the 21st century!

God is witness to all!

Christopher Tingus
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Pingback by Aviation Security: Curbside to Cockpit | Security Debrief

January 25, 2011 @ 10:36 am

[...] Aviation Security: Curbside to Cockpit – Homeland Security Watch In a recent speech to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security, Transportation Security Administrator John S. Pistole discussed the need for aviation security to be “curbside to cockpit.” [...]

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