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Let’s Think Blue Skies… but not forget the basics By Matthew Vaughan

Let’s Think Blue Skies… but not forget the basics By Matthew Vaughan

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Security Management System (SeMS) enshrined via the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) programme (https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/safety/ audit/iosa/Pages/index.aspx). Over this period the audit programme has evolved immensely, helping airlines to bolster their safety and security management systems. Capitalising on the unique…
The 25th Anniversary of the Alas Chiricanas Bombing: suicidal terrorism in the crosshairs

The 25th Anniversary of the Alas Chiricanas Bombing: suicidal terrorism in the crosshairs

In the 25 years since the Alas Chiricanas bombing, suicidal terrorism targeting the aviation industry has evolved from terrorists smuggling bombs on planes, to using aircraft as guided missiles, to gun and bomb attacks in the public areas of airports. While the aviation security enterprise has adapted to the evolving threat, it needs to adapt progressive changes in order…
Hotel Security & Ground Transportation: Ensuring a Secure Crew Layover

Hotel Security & Ground Transportation: Ensuring a Secure Crew Layover

Whether you’ve got eight hours or a couple of days, and whether you see them as a perk or a pestilence, layovers are a fact of life for commercial and corporate aircrews. In this article, Mac Segal draws on decades of experience in facilitating secure travel for CEOs and high net worth individuals to move the usual focus on places to see and eat to personal security.…
ROUTE SELECTION: SAFE PASSAGE

ROUTE SELECTION: SAFE PASSAGE

An analysis by Osprey Flight Solutions has identified ten airspace areas globally where the risk to civil aviation was assessed to be high to extreme at all altitudes due to hazardous activity conducted by a range of state actors and violent non-state actors (VNSAs). Matthew Borie provides a summary of these airspace risk areas, including incident-specific analysis. Since…
Least-Risk Bomb Location: the physics, construction and proof of concept

Least-Risk Bomb Location: the physics, construction and proof of concept

Aircraft are uniquely attractive targets for those with terroristic intent, and one of the biggest concerns for crewmembers on commercial flights is the smuggling of an improvised explosive device (IED) onboard. Crewmembers are aware of the risk their airline is exposed to and receive specific training in case they hear the frightening words: “There is a bomb onboard”.…

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LEAD EDITORIAL

BY PHILIP BAUM

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Frankie Boyle: Typifying a World Without Order by Philip Baum

It would be more than reasonable for you to expect the lead editorial in this issue of the international journal of airport and airline security to focus on airport perimeter security. After all, there have been several significant recent incidents highlighting the fallibility of security fences and access control measures; most notably, the heist in Tirana, Albania, on 9 April, which resulted in €5m in cash being stolen by gunmen armed with AK-47s as it…

INDUSTRY NEWS

Thales Acquires Gemalto

Thales has completed the acquisition of Gemalto for €4.8 billion. Gemalto, a global leader in digital identification and data protection, will form…

Air Watch

23 APRIL 2019: HODEIDAH, YEMEN

Houthi rebels attempted to attack and regain control of Hodeidah Airport. They were thwarted by Yemen’s government troops. Reportedly dozens of rebels were killed in the attempt.

20 MAY 2019: NAJRAN, SAUDI ARABIA

Yemen’s Houthi rebels sent a drone carrying a bomb to an arms depot at Najran airport. The attack comes after increasing tension between US-allied Saudi Arabia and Iran.

9 APRIL 2019: TIRANA, ALBANIA

An estimated €6-10 million was stolen in under five minutes at Rinas Airport. The stolen cash was being transported to Vienna and belonged to a commercial bank. A gang entered the airport through a secondary gate in a tax agency’s van, claiming to be tax inspectors. After entering the airfield, the gang intercepted an armoured vehicle from which cash was being loaded onto an Austrian Airlines plane bound for Vienna. They threatened the security personnel with weapons and made their escape. Police pursued the criminals and after an exchange of gunfire, one gang member, believed to be Admir Murataj (see photo taken during the heist), was killed. His body was thrown out of the vehicle. Subsequently six people aged 25 to 38 were arrested in connection with the heist. Murataj’s daughter has filed a lawsuit against the state police, claiming that her father did not shoot at the police and was therefore killed deliberately and not in self-defence.

21 APRIL 2019: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

A six-foot PVC pipe bomb was discovered at Bandaranaike International Airport, hours after a series of suicidal attacks killed approx. 290 people at churches and hotels across Sri Lanka. The airport was locked down whilst the bomb was safely detonated.

8 APRIL 2019: TRIPOLI, LIBYA

Mitiga International Airport was closed after a Libyan National Army airstrike damaged a runway at the airport.

16 MAY 2019: SANTIAGO, CHILE

Javier Antonio Aburto Oyarzún, a Puerto Varas council member, was acquitted of making a false bomb threat on a Latam airlines flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt in July 2017.

25 MAY 2019: CHENNAI, INDIA

Four men were arrested in connection with the theft of 50kg of raw materials used to prepare party drugs (ecstasy) from Chennai Airport’s cargo complex in May 2017. Those arrested were employed at the cargo terminal as loaders.

15 MAY 2019: ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

David Adamson, 46, was found guilty of sending a text message with a bomb emoji to Ruth Adamson, 27, who was due to fly to Vietnam. A travel agent wrongly mailed Ruth Adamson’s flight itinerary to David’s house. David sent her angry and threatening messages, because he assumed it was his mother’s number on the itinerary. His mother shared the same name as Ruth and had left him without notice in 2014. He received a suspended six-week prison sentence on an 18-month good behaviour bond.

16 MAY 2019: PENNSYLVANIA, USA

Wes Glon, 65, the head fencing coach for Pennsylvania State University, failed to report allegations of sexual misconduct against assistant coach George Abashidze, 60, to the university because he found them hard to believe and because Abashidze had apologised. Jennifer Oldham, 44, also a fencing coach, was sexually harassed by Abashidze, who was drunk on a flight from Portland to Chicago, were he touched her inappropriately and propositioned her multiple times.

10 MAY 2019: ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND

Nathan Jackson, 31, was found guilty of smashing an information screen at Aberdeen Airport after he was removed from a flight for being too drunk last August. He was fined £700 and £959 for the damaged screen.

19 MAY 2019: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Iceland’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Tel Aviv on 18 May, was contentious from the outset; the techno-punk band, Hatari, dressed in BDSM-style gear performed a song entitled ‘Hate Will Prevail’! The Song Contest is supposed to be 100% non-political, yet Hatari band members used the opportunity to unfurl a pro-Palestinian banner during the televised event. On their return flight to Reykjavik the following day, it seems that for the Tel Aviv-London leg of the journey, with El Al, they were intentionally assigned three separate seats in the middle of the rear rows of economy. Hatari is allegedly considering legal action against El Al and/or Icelandair (having bought their tickets through the latter). Meanwhile, the European Broadcasting Union is also considering disqualifying the Icelandic entry for its actions.

15 MAY 2019: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

The head of security at Geneva Airport and the director of a Geneva-based security company were arrested for corruption. It is believed that the head of security of Geneva Airport was a former employee of Securitas. Reports allege that Securitas and its subsidiary firm won two contracts with Geneva Airport, despite the contract costing more than other competitors. The contract was worth CHF80 million (c. £62.8 million).

11 MAY 2019: LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

Christian Richard Martin, 51, an American Airlines pilot, was arrested at Louisville International Airport before his flight to Charlotte, in connection with a triple murder case. Calvin Phillips, 59, had been shot to death in his cellar in November 2015. Mr Phillips’ wife, Pamela Phillips, and her neighbour, Edward Dansereau, 63, were found dead in a burnt car in a nearby cornfield. In 2015, Martin, who had been in the military, was facing a charge of mishandling classified information and assault, and his neighbour, Calvin Phillips, was a witness but was murdered before the case was heard in court. Martin was sentenced to three months in prison and discharged from the military after he moved to North Carolina and became a commercial pilot. The murder case was re-examined two years ago by the Kentucky attorney general after Mr and Mrs Phillips’ son’s appeal.

14 MAY 2019: NICE, FRANCE

Taxi drivers protested the spontaneous checks of licenced taxi drivers by blocking entrances for private chauffeured cars to enter and exit Nice Airport. This caused traffic and disruption as it was on the same day as attendees arrived for the Cannes Film festival.

11 MAY 2019: NDOLA, ZAMBIA

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema (pictured) was given VIP treatment at Ndola airport, enabling him to bypass screening processes. Fridah Mupasha Mweetwa, chief security officer for the Ndola branch of the Zambia Airport Cooperation Limited and Joseph Mumbi, airport manager, were later suspended for permitting the breach of aviation security.

26 MAY 2019: KOLKATA, INDIA

An Air Asia India flight, en route from Bagdogra to Kolkata, was the subject of a bomb threat made by an anonymous individual at Bengaluru Airport. The aircraft was given priority landing and met by the CISF who isolated the aircraft away from the terminal.

23 MAY 2019: BARCELONA, SPAIN

A Vueling flight en route from Paris to Ibiza diverted to Barcelona’s El Prat airport due to a bomb threat. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport received the threat, citing an aircraft flying to Ibiza.

23 MAY 2019: ROSTOV, RUSSIA

Rostov airport received an anonymous message about the threat of an explosion, which resulted in the evacuation of the terminal.

17 MAY 2019: ODESSA, UKRAINE

A Windrose Airline flight from Kiev to Sharm El Sheikh was forced to divert to Odessa after an anonymous phone call was received about a bomb on the flight.

25 MAY 2019: ALICANTE, SPAIN

A group of 15 drunken men showed total disregard for their fellow passengers on a Ryanair flight, en route from London Stansted to Alicante, by their alcohol-infused antics on board, even though the flight departed at 0610! They were filmed pouring beer down a funnel into the mouth of a passenger lying on the floor, and later walking in the aisle with the funnel on one of the men’s heads. The crew, in the video at least, appeared not to make any attempt at intervening.

25 MAY 2019: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

A 26-year-old man became extremely aggressive on a Jetstar flight preparing to depart for Melbourne. He was asked to leave the aircraft and the Australian Federal Police were called. The man resisted arrest and head-butted one policeman twice in the face. Two members of the AFP were injured.

21 MAY 2019: DELHI, INDIA

Abdul Shahid Shamsudeen, 24, was stopped from smoking by a flight attendant on a Saudia flight from Jeddah to Delhi. In response, he unzipped his trousers in front of the female crewmember and made obscene gestures.

21 MAY 2019: MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

A passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight lit up a cigarette in the cabin claiming to be unaware that it was against the law to do so. He had allegedly been restless on board. Another passenger filmed the incident. The man immediately agreed to extinguish the cigarette when spoken to by the crew who took his boarding card from him and handed it to the police on arrival in Minneapolis.

20 MAY 2019: KUNMING, CHINA

A passenger on a Fuzhou Airlines flight from Fuzhou to Kunming attempted to open the emergency exit as the aircraft was preparing to land in Kunming. A passenger and flight attendant had to wrestle him away from the door. He then grabbed one of the cabin crew around the neck.

17 MAY 2019: CHENNAI, INDIA

Mohammed Sherif, 34, was arrested at Chennai airport after CCTV showed him kissing the hand of a 23-year-old airline employee who was giving him his boarding pass.

20 MAY 2019: TIRANA, ALBANIA

Two Tirana International Airport employees, aged 22 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of stealing 4,800 euros (c. £4,225) from a passenger’s luggage. The passenger was travelling to Slovenia.

13 MAY 2019: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

A 39-year-old Chinese national was caught attempting to steal a bag containing VND14 million (c. £475) and a mobile worth over VND20 million (c. £680) from an overhead compartment on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. The victim caught the perpetrator with his bag and filmed him putting it back in the compartment.

13 MAY 2019: GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA

An Indonesian man, 39, was arrested at Penang International Airport for attempting to stow away in the landing gear of an aircraft. He was spotted by a technician. The factory worker stated that he attempted to stow away because could not afford a ticket back home to Medan.

24 FEBRUARY 2019: CHATTOGRAM, BANGLADESH

Palash Ahmed attempted to hijack a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight en route to Dubai from Dhaka, with a scheduled stopover in Chattogram (Chittagong). It was initially reported that Ahmed was carrying a gun and explosives and that he had fired two shots. Later, it was found that the gun and explosives were fake and that the shot sounds were caused by “cracker-like substances”. Ahmed demands were to speak to his wife and to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about his wife. When the plane landed in Chattogram, Special Forces negotiated the release of all passengers and crew. When the hijacker refused to leave, the authorities launched an eight-minute raid to remove him from the aircraft, resulting in Ahmed being shot. He later died from his injuries.

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.

31 JANUARY 2019: NAPAKIAK, ALASKA

A 16-year-old attempted to hijack a Yute Commuter Service plane during its four-minute flight from Napakiak to Bethel. The teenager, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Piper Cherokee, briefly grabbed the plane’s yoke causing the plane to dive towards the ground. A female passenger sitting behind the teenager was able to restrain him, allowing the pilot to regain control of the flight and return to Napakiak.

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.

The Final Word

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