Airport and Aviation Security: U.S. Policy and Strategy in the Age of Global Terrorism / Edition 1

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The response of the U.S. federal government to the events of September 11, 2001 has reflected the challenge of striking a balance between implementing security measures to deter terrorist attacks while at the same time limiting disruption to air commerce. Airport and Aviation Security: U.S. Policy and Strategy in the Age of Global Terrorism is a comprehensive reference that examines the persistent threats to aviation security that led up to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, describes subsequent terror plots against aviation assets, and explores U.S. efforts to counter and mitigate these threats.

Addressing the homeland security challenges facing the U.S. in the age of terrorism, this text explores:

  • Security protocol prior to 9/11
  • Precursors to 9/11
  • The rising threat of Al Qaeda
  • Tactical and congressional response to 9/11, including new legislation
  • The broader context of risk assessment
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Airport security, including passenger, baggage, and employee screening
  • Airline in-flight security measures
  • Airport perimeter security
  • The threat of shoulder-fired missiles
  • Security for GA (general aviation) operations and airports

Beginning with a historical backdrop describing the dawn of the age of global terrorism in the 1960s and continuing up until the present time, the book demonstrates the broad social and political context underlying recent changes in the aviation security system as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks. Coverage examines ongoing threats and vulnerabilities to the aviation infrastructure, including an exploration of how past terrorist incidents have come to shape U.S. policy and strategy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Elias is uniquely qualified to write this text. … Lessons learned in this book will help in any security program.
— Derek Knights, CPP, PCI in Security Management

"To date I have read no better executive‐level examination of asymmetric, home‐grown, and insider terrorist threats."
General Aviation Security Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420070293
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/21/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 439
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bart Elias is a specialist in aviation policy for the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

Pre-9/11 Threats to Aviation Security and the U.S. Policy Response

The Significance of Aviation Terrorism

The Late 1960s and Early 1970s: The Dawn of the Age of Global Terrorism

The Looming Menace of Aircraft Bombings

The 1980s: The Shifting Threat

The 1990s: The Failure to Imagine and Adequately Prepare

The 9/11 Attacks and the Ensuing Policy Debate

Precursors to 9/11

Bojinka Plot

Rising Threat of Al Qaeda

Buildup to 9/11

Preattack Phase: Terrorists in our Midst

9/11 Attacks

Tactical Response on September 11, 2001

DOT Rapid Response Teams

Congressional Response to the 9/11 Attacks

Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA, P.L. 107-71)

Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296)

Vision 100: The Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (P.L. 108-176)

Policy Refinement in Response to the Evolving Terrorist Threat

The 9/11 Commission and Its Impact on Aviation Security Policy

Aviation Security-Related Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission

National Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458)

TSA Regulations to Strengthen Air Cargo and the Push for 100% Cargo Screening

Lingering Congressional Policy Concerns

Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-53)

Continuing Terrorist Threat

Evolving Terror Threat

Homegrown Terrorist Threats in the United States

An Asymmetric Threat Intent on Diminishing Our Resolve

Cost of Protecting Aviation

The U.S. Strategy for Combating Terror Threats to the Aviation Domain

Pre-9/11 Approaches to Aviation Security

Post-9/11 Actions Addressing Aviation Security Policy and Strategy

The National Aviation Security Policy

Security Threats to Aviation

The Risk-Based Framework

Strategic Objectives

Strategic Actions

Strategic Roles and Responsibilities

Aviation Mode-Specific Plans

The Air Domain Surveillance and Intelligence Integration Plan

The International Outreach and International Aviation Threat Reduction Plans

The Aviation Operational Threat Response Plan

The Domestic Outreach Plan

Issues for Consideration

Evaluating and Managing Security Risks

Risk Assessment Methods

Using the Risk-Based Framework to Determine a Risk Valuation and Assess Costs and Benefits

Approaches for Developing Complex Models of Risk in the Aviation Security Domain

Mitigating Aviation Security Risk

The Multilayered Approach to Aviation Security

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures and Security Systems

Assessing the Impact of Security Measures on Air Transportation System Efficiency

Mitigating the Consequences of an Attack

Exploiting Intelligence and Counterterrorism Information

An Overview of Intelligence Gathering and Analysis

Intelligence Reforms in Response to the Global Terror Threat

TSA’s Role in Transportation Security Intelligence

Tracking Terrorist Travel in the Aviation Mode

Airline Passenger Prescreening and Terrorist Watch Lists

Policy Issues Related to Passenger Prescreening and Terrorist Watch List Checks

Future Directions for Exploiting Intelligence Information to Strengthen Aviation Security

Using Intelligence Information to Identify Terrorist Networks

Data Fusion in the Aviation Environment

Passenger and Baggage Screening

Policy Considerations for Aviation Security Screening

Checkpoint Screening Human Performance

Potential Impacts of Respecting Privacy on Screening Performance

Covert Testing

Threat Image Projection

X-Ray Imagery and Carry-On Baggage Screening Performance

Passenger Checkpoint Efficiency

The Evolution of Checkpoint Design

Next Generation Checkpoint Technologies

Screening Airport Workers

Screening and Vetting of Airline Crews

Checked Baggage Screening

Proposed Strategy for Baggage Screening Optimization

Options for Reducing Baggage

Firearms in Checked Baggage

Screener Workforce Issues

Screener Retention

Airline In-Flight Security Measures

Hardened Cockpit Doors

Secondary Flight Deck Barriers

Flight Deck Access Procedures

Video Surveillance of the Airliner Cabin and Improved Cabin-Cockpit Communications

Uninterruptable Aircraft Transponders

Future Systems for Aircraft Surveillance

The Federal Air Marshal Service

Armed Pilots and Crew Security Training

Consideration of Less-Than-Lethal Weapons for In-Flight Security

Security Training for Airline Crews

Armed Law Enforcement on Airliners

Handling Disruptive Passengers and Other In-Flight Security Incidents

Possible Terrorist Probing Incidents

Responding to In-Flight Security Threats

Mitigating the In-Flight Explosives Threat and Improving Aircraft Survivability

In-Flight Chemical and Biological Threats

Commercial Airport Access Controls and Perimeter Security

Security Risk in the Airport Environment

Commercial Airport Security Program Concepts

Airport Security Technology Investment

Airport Security Programs

Airport Security Terminology

Airport Security Risk Categories

Evaluating Airport Compliance with Security Requirements

Airport Physical Security and Security Technologies

Airport Perimeter Security and Access Control Measures

Surveillance Technologies

Patrolling the Airfield and the Airport Perimeter

Security Awareness Training

Law Enforcement Support

Access Control Measures

Background Check Requirements

Biometric Technologies for Credentialing and Access Controls

Planning, Design, and Construction Guidelines for Commercial Airport Security

Critical Incident Management and Response


Mitigating the Threat of Shoulder-Fired Missiles and Other Standoff Weapons

The Proliferation of Shoulder-Fired Weapons and the Terrorist Threat They Pose

The Vulnerability of Commercial Airliners

Assessing the Potential Consequences of a Standoff Attack

U.S. Policy and Strategic Approaches

Ground-Based Countermeasures

Air Cargo Security

Security Risks Posed by Air Cargo

Screening versus Physical Inspection of Cargo Shipments

Security in the All-Cargo Environment

Physical Screening and Inspection

Canine Explosives Detection Teams

Cargo Screening Technology

Cost of Cargo Screening and Inspection

Technologies for Effectively Securing the Supply Chain

Physical Security of Air Cargo Facilities

Inspection and Oversight of Air Cargo Facilities

Security Training for Air Cargo Personnel

Increased Control over Access to Aircraft and Cargo Facilities

Security for GA Operations and Airports

What Is GA?

The Economic Impact of GA

The Security Challenge Posed by GA

Security Vulnerabilities

The Terrorist Threat

Potential Consequences of an Attack Using GA Aircraft

Options for Mitigation of GA Security Risks

Airport Access Controls

Background Checks and Vetting

Physical Security Measures for Airports

Physical Security Measures for Aircraft

Securing Agricultural Aviation Operations

Flight School Security

Security Practices for Business and Charter Aviation

Vetting and Tracking GA Flights at the U.S. Borders

Airspace Restrictions

Airspace Restrictions around Washington, DC

Security-Related Flight Restrictions Throughout the United States

Policy Issues Regarding Airspace Restrictions


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