Aviation Security in Iraq: perceptions of risk
Iraq is currently going through a period of comparative stability and is starting to effect some long term strategic planning for its future economic, social and cultural viability. From an aviation perspective it is important to understand the risks Iraqi civil aviation is exposed to and, against this backdrop, Matthew Vaughan visited Iraq in June 2011 and sought to find out how the risks were perceived on the ground. Here are his findings.
Although most of the research conducted was based on a visit to Baghdad International Airport, the research sample also consisted of groups located elsewhere within the Middle East. The results suggested that perceived risks included activities associated with organised crime and the reliability and capability of security agencies in Iraq to identify and recruit qualified and reliable staff. These risks, as well as others, were perceived to be linked to larger scale risks throughout Iraq, primarily perceived in terms of terrorism and organised crime resulting from political and social instability. Risks were generally perceived from a combination of personal life experiences and experiences of risk events, social and cultural factors, and gathering of information from both open source media and personal networks of peers, colleagues, friends, and family.