Rogue Aviation Workers are Biggest Threat to Aviation Security
By Kimberly Arsenault
A 2016 report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicated that recent assessments conducted by the TSA do not adequately reflect relevant data on current risks. Additionally, the GAO found that the TSA does not engage airport stakeholders, including airport operators or airlines, in information sharing to help assess and deter those risks with best practices.
The report was prompted by concerns over security threats that occurred at two different airports in 2014. One incident took place at the San Jose International Airport in California when a a 15-year-old boy stowed away in the wheel well of an airplane going to Hawaii after allegedly scaling an airport perimeter fence.
Another incident occurred at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Georgia and involved a baggage handler using airport-issued credentials to smuggle firearms – both loaded and unloaded – onto commercial flights to New York. The baggage handler would take these firearms into the passenger waiting area where he would give them to an accomplice who would then board the flight en route to New York with the weapons.
Rogue Aviation Workers
Identified as rogue aviation workers, these individuals are defined as a people who seek to “exploit their credentials, access, and knowledge of airport security procedures for personal gain or to inflict harm.”
Such rogue aviation workers, or insider threats, constitute the highest concerns regarding aviation security among the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the TSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and, thus, increased measures may be necessary in light of these heightened risk.
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