FEATURES

Drones: worrying about the sideshow and not the main event By Ken Dunlap

Drones: worrying about the sideshow and not the main event By Ken Dunlap

The last twelve months have been a banner year for industry experimentation in countering rogue drones. Responses to sightings at Gatwick and Heathrow resulted in flights being cancelled for 150,000 passengers and delays for thousands more. In relation to the Gatwick incident, a couple were arrested, cleared, and released. Millions of pounds were spent on technology…
Mandatory Baggage Handling Questions: cultural sensitivities

Mandatory Baggage Handling Questions: cultural sensitivities

Mandatory baggage handling questions have been used as part of the aviation security measures to guarantee safety of the aircraft and its passengers. The unambiguous questions are used as part of an evaluation of the threat posed by the traveller. While the responses to the questions taken alone are of limited utility, they can prove useful when evaluated in conjunction…
GANGS: AIRPORTS AS THE BATTLEGROUND

GANGS: AIRPORTS AS THE BATTLEGROUND

Gangs; they cause chaos worldwide. Their activities range from petty crime and disruption to high profile criminal activities. Transnational gangs are the ultimate entrepreneurs, relentless in conducting their business and harder to control the more lucrative and powerful they become. They fill the gap in the global supply of illegal goods and services, operating a…
ACHIEVING COMPLIANCE: ENSURING QUALITY

ACHIEVING COMPLIANCE: ENSURING QUALITY

Screening officers working on the front lines at airports around the world have a tough job. They are required to operate a variety of different screening technologies and carry out complex processes in a demanding environment. While the likelihood of encountering a real threat is relatively low, the failure to detect one can have potentially catastrophic consequences.…
PREVENTION OVER DETECTION: WHAT SEMS CAN LEARN FROM SMS

PREVENTION OVER DETECTION: WHAT SEMS CAN LEARN FROM SMS

Enormous growth in air travel and increased complexity of the aviation environment are amongst the many emerging issues presenting security challenges today. Conventional reactive methods for security management, responding mostly to occurrences with ever more complicated and prescriptive regulations, are becoming less effective. This causes increasing concern for…

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LEAD EDITORIAL

BY PHILIP BAUM

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

DRONES: POSING A THREAT TO ALL AIRCRAFT

Christmas time is supposed to be the season of goodwill to all men, yet it has also, historically, been the period in which there have been a disturbing number of attacks against civil aviation. 21 December marked the 30th anniversary of the loss of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie and it was also the date on which Richard Reid tried to board a flight in Paris with a bomb in his shoes; he did not manage to board due to concerns over his appearance and behaviour,…

INDUSTRY NEWS

Air Watch

28 JANUARY 2019: PAPUA, INDONESIA

Papua separatists killed a soldier at Mapenduma Airport as the soldier was securing the installation for the arrival of an aircraft carrying local government officials and military personnel.

20 JANUARY 2019: DAMASCUS, SYRIA

Israel conducted aerial strikes on a weapons storage unit at Damascus International Airport. Syria threatened to attack Israel’s Ben Gurion airport in retaliation for the strikes.

13 JANUARY 2019: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Turkish Airlines crewmembers were held at gunpoint and robbed by three armed men whilst travelling back to the airport from the city centre on a shuttle bus. The assailants blocked the bus with their vehicle. It is reported that the pilot’s watch and the crew’s mobile phones were stolen.

5 JANUARY 2019: SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

Cargo shipments arriving from Feira de Santana caught fire at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport. The shipment contained timers, potentially for use in IEDs. The bomb squad was called to ensure that the consignment was made safe, following which a counterterrorist police investigation commenced.

29 NOVEMBER 2018: SAMANÁ, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Armed criminals stole a light aircraft from a taxiway at Arroyo Barril International Airport. The suspects, believed to be involved in narcotics trafficking, cut CCTV security cameras’ cabling, preventing the monitoring of the airfield’s airside areas, in order to gain access to the aircraft.

1 FEBRUARY 2019: LONDON, ENGLAND

Michelle Vanbuskirk, 43, was given a suspended sentence totalling ten months for causing a United Airlines flight to Washington DC to return to London Heathrow in September last year. Vanbuskirk was intoxicated and behaving in a disorderly manner during the flight. She assaulted fellow passenger and nurse, Emily Menninger, and crewmember, Porsha Chaplain. The judge considered that Vanbuskirk was drinking to quell the anxiety she experiences when flying – Vanbuskirk was on a United Airlines flight 13 years ago which suffered a double engine blowout and went into free fall before an emergency landing. Vanbuskirk was ordered to pay a total of £5,500 in costs and compensation to the people involved and to conduct 100 hours of unpaid work.

28 JANUARY 2019: HAARLEM, NETHERLANDS

Five men were jailed for their involvement in a $72 million diamond robbery in 2005, at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The armed robbers stole the diamonds from a flight heading to Antwerp. The robbers were disguised as KLM workers and fled in a KLM van. $29 million (c. £22 million) worth of diamonds were retrieved from the escape vehicle however the remaining $43 million’s worth (c. £32,760,000) was not found. Seven suspects were arrested in January 2017 after police intercepted a telephone conversation about the heist. Errol H.V., 54, was sentenced seven years in prison. Marlon D., 44, was sentenced to six years. Ramazan N., the KLM employee, received a prison sentence of five years. Another suspect was sentenced to three and a half years. A suspect believed to have been the mastermind recently died. Two other suspects were acquitted.

25 JANUARY 2019: HAY RIVER, CANADA

William Max Mahoney, 61, was sentenced to six months in jail for assaulting a flight attendant on a First Air flight from Yellowknife to Hay River in January 2018. Mahoney, who had been drinking alcohol from a smoothie bottle, had stood up and stumbled when the plane landed. When the flight attendant attempted pick up the smoothie bottle, that had fallen alongside Mahoney, he lunged at her to take it back and wrapped his arms around her. Mahoney had previous alcohol related convictions.

24 JANUARY 2019: TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS

Zemarcuis Scott, 19, pleaded guilty to attempted theft of property and commercial burglary for an incident that occurred in July last year. Scott had attempted to steal an American Eagle twin-engine jet at Texarkana Regional Airport to attend a rap concert. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay $1,000 (c. £770) in fine and costs.

12 JANUARY 2019: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Greyson Murphy, 26, pleaded guilty to assault with attempt to commit sexual assault in connection with an incident that occurred last April at Melbourne Airport. Murphy had attempted to rape a Jetstar hostess as she went to the toilet, grabbing her after she exited the cubicle. Another woman, who was in the toilets at the time, helped free the hostess from Murphy’s grasp. Reports state that Murphy had previously attempted a similar attack and reportedly has an underlying mental disorder. He was sentenced to three years in jail, two of those years without the possibility of parole.

2 FEBRUARY 2019: ORLANDO, FLORIDA

A TSA agent jumped from a balcony in the airport atrium at Orlando International Airport. He was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. The man was off-duty having finished his shift before the incident occurred. Inbound flights were grounded. Unscreened passengers entered restricted areas in panic. Operations were delayed as agents had to re-screen the passengers.

2 FEBRUARY 2019: BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

A 50-year-old man was arrested at Brisbane International airport for wielding a knife and for having a fake homemade bomb. The man placed the device down in the food court and claimed it was a bomb. He then chased a woman, who is believed to have been a family member, with a knife. The perpetrator was at the airport with his wife, mother-in-law and two children. Officers were able to stop and arrest the man by firing non-lethal ammunition. The airport terminal was evacuated during the incident and trains arriving to the airport were halted for over two hours. The incident is seemingly a domestic violence related incident.

2 FEBRUARY 2019: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

Four Maldivian nationals aged 19-23 were arrested for flying a drone near Bandaranaike International Airport. The incident occurred hours before the Maldivian President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, was due to arrive in Sri Lanka.

31 JANUARY 2019: MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Shau Chang Yee, 69, jumped off the fourth floor in Terminal 3, at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Yee was given first aid but passed away due to severe head injuries.

30 JANUARY 2019: LONDON, ENGLAND

Activists from the Lesbian and Gays Support Migrants group infiltrated the Airlines UK annual dinner event to protest airline carriers’ deportation contracts with the Home Office. Protestors handed out 200 airline travel sickness bags to senior managers within the airline industry as they chanted and held banners stating, “deportation contracts make us sick”.

29 JANUARY 2019: KRAKOW, POLAND

Reports emerged that an easyJet flight from Krakow to Liverpool was delayed due to extra security checks after Krakow Airport received a threatening phone call. Another easyJet flight heading to Belfast was also searched.

18 JANUARY 2019: LYON, FRANCE

An easyJet flight heading to Rennes had to turn back to its original destination, Lyon-Saint Exupery airport, after receiving an anonymous call of a bomb threat mid-flight.

14 JANUARY 2019: MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Police searched Moscow’s Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports after they received threatening phone calls. The police identified the caller and arrested the suspect.

16 DECEMBER 2018: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Passengers on a Jet2 flight from Manchester to Prague were held for four hours after landing due to a bomb threat. A drawing of a bomb had been found in a toilet during the flight.

17 DECEMBER 2018: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

A TigerAir flight en route to Melbourne was redirected back to Sydney Airport due to an on-board threat. Reports indicate that the threat was in the form of a note. Runway 34L was temporarily closed after the aircraft landed. The aircraft was towed away to an isolated location to be searched.

1 FEBRUARY 2019: CHANGI, SINGAPORE

56-year-old Taiwanese actor, Tuo Chung-hua, was arrested for disorderly behaviour and assaulting a stewardess on a China Airlines flight from Taipei to Changi Airport. The actor was drunk and insulted a passenger who confronted him. Chung-hua then asked for more alcohol from a flight attendant and touched her buttocks. He later apologised in a video stating he was excited to celebrate Chinese New Year and may have had too much to drink.

30 JANUARY 2019: ABUJA, NIGERIA

A false bomb threat was made by a passenger on an Air Peace flight from Abuja to Lagos. Allegedly the passenger who made the threat had a history of mental health illness.

29 JANUARY 2019: SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

A Delta Airlines flight from San Francisco to Atlanta diverted to Salt Lake City because of an unruly passenger. Aaron Hanson, who was reportedly drunk and high, was yelling profanities and becoming aggressive towards staff and passengers. Hanson kept falling over when trying to go to the toilet and was unable to keep his trousers up after he had unbuckled them to use the toilets.

29 JANUARY 2019: SOCHI, RUSSIA

Reports emerged that Alexander Tishenko, 33, caused a Rossiya Airlines flight from St Petersburg to Antalya to divert to Sochi. Tishenko allegedly became abusive and then violent towards flight attendants.

2 FEBRUARY 2019: BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND

A brawl ensued in the departures area of Belfast International Airport. Two groups threw fire extinguishers, baskets and bins at each other. Mops, brushes and metal poles were used as weapons. The brawl lasted 20 minutes until the police intervened.

30 JANUARY 2019: PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

Zane Alexander Carlson, 20, was arrested for trespassing after driving through a fence at Pensacola International Airport. He drove onto the runway and did doughnut manoeuvres with his vehicle.

26 JANUARY 2019: BANGKOK, THAILAND

A South Korean tourist slapped a Suvarnabhumi airport employee who attempted to screen her with a handheld scanner. The tourist was at the luggage checkpoint and had just passed through the full body scanner which had alarmed. The woman was fined 2,000 baht (c. £48).

23 JANUARY 2019: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

A woman was arrested in Tom Bradley International terminal forecourt at LAX for shouting profanities. The woman was wearing white face paint and sunglasses when she was arrested.

4 FEBRUARY 2019: KHARTOUM, SUDAN

A Sudanese deportee attempted to hijack Tarco-Air flight 103 en route from Cairo to Khartoum. Crew managed to restrain the man and the flight continued safely to its intended destination.

22 JANUARY 2019: KHANTY-MANSIYSK, RUSSIA

An Aeroflot flight heading to Moscow from Surgot was forced to land in Khanty-Mansiysk after Pavel Shapovalov attempted to hijack the flight to Afghanistan. Shapovalov claimed to have weapons and attempted to break into the cockpit; the aircrew convinced him that the aircraft needed to land and refuel in order to reach Afghanistan. The man was arrested on landing; no weapons were found on him and initial medical exams showed no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system.

1 JULY 2018: RÉAU, FRANCE

A helicopter piloted by a flying instructor was hijacked by three unidentified gunmen and used to break infamous gangster, Rédoine Faïd, from a French prison. After a dramatic escape, the helicopter was found abandoned and partially burned out in a field near Charles de Gaulle airport. The pilot was released unharmed.

15 APRIL 2018: ZHENGZHOU, CHINA

An Air China flight from Changsha to Beijing diverted to Zhengzhou after a 41-year-old male passenger by the name of Xu attempted to take a female member of cabin crew hostage using a fountain pen as a weapon. Xu was reported to have aggressively held the fountain pen to the flight attendant’s throat while shouting for others to stay away. The incident was eventually resolved and no-one was injured. Xu was reported to have a history of mental illness.

8 MARCH 2018: JOINVILLE, BRAZIL

Daniel da Silva, 18, was pulled from the burning wreckage of a helicopter that crashed during what is believed to have been a hijacking attempt. Pilot Antonio Mário Franco Aguiar, 57, and co-pilot Bruno Siqueira, 20, were both killed. Da Silva was allegedly hijacking the helicopte

The Final Word

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