The Department of Homeland Security in Aviation Sector
The aviation transport industry is a very important mode of transport because of the speed and efficiency of operations. There are a number of items that the system serves the public and at the same time exposes them to attacks from outside their countries. For instance; the aviation sector is accessible from all places in the world that have airports. This means that an airport is exposed to attacks from everywhere in the world. The air travels are also the fastest trips one can make and this makes the favorable for many people and provide proper targets from terrorists. The Aviation transport section of the larger transportation system is a vulnerable one. It is exposed to many kinds of risks as it goes about its daily operations. For instance, a plane in the air space can be attacked from any side and by anybody with enough skill and motive to execute the attack. The aviation sector of the homeland security system is at an enhanced risk as it is often the fastest and more efficient mode of transport compared to all other means of transport. The number of people who use aviation transport are many and the numbers also pose a great risk to the travelers because terrorists often target areas with as many people as possible.
There are many vulnerabilities in the aviation section. The security checks are thorough but not thorough enough considering the fact that planes still explode mid-air by explosives within the craft as it flies. This means that the security of passengers as it stands cannot be guaranteed. The Department of Homeland Security was forced to review the security systems in airports after several cases of weapons and other illegal items were reported. The airport workers use their positions to enable these ills to go on in the airports. The challenge the Department has is ensuring that the airports are more secure and at the same time, the convenience of the innocent people travelling is not affected. It is not easy for people to keep up with prolonged security checks without there being complaints on the delays given that people often run to air transport to save time (Elias, Peterman, & Frittelli, 2016). The department has to ensure that the security checks are thorough and the least possible amount discomfort is felt by the travelers.
The potential threats on the aviation sector is the security systems being compromised in that the authorities do not know what has gone through their gates and into the planes. This issue does not only apply to items but people as well. There have been unconfirmed allegations that the missing Malaysian flight was compromised by people on board. There are many possibilities that terrorists got on board undetected. The current state of security affairs in the globe does nothing to make the situation better. The terrorist outfits are always headed by very brainy individuals which could mean that they know how to compromise the security systems in airports. The Department of Homeland Security has to device a way to deal with such occurrences.
The aviation sector is also vulnerable to attacks on the ground. This can be done by the plane being mechanically dismantled while on the ground before take-off. Such actions are a security threat to so many people and it is the kind of uncontrolled attack because where the plane crushes and when it does cannot be determined and prevented or controlled. There are many things that can be done to rectify this situation. The Department of Homeland Security has to ensure that the planes on the ground before takeoff are safe and in good conditions. This means that no plane should be out of sight while on the ground. A security system ensuring this will require a lot of financing and high intelligence staffing (Elias, Peterman, & Frittelli, 2016).
The aviation sector of the Homeland Security Department is an important factor in securing the air space of the nation. It ensures that flights are safe for passengers and that they do not allow people with ulterior motives on board and onto the United States’ soil. There are a number of things that the department could look into in securing the aviation industries. The type of equipment being used to conduct security searches in the airports have to be up to date. The specialists in these sectors have to be highly alert of the events on the ground. This means the intelligence agents have to be wide spread on the ground and collect useful intelligence to help the Department secure the stat (Neffenger, 2016)e. There are many people have the capability of being agents with good training. The Department can also ensure the people have a centralized record database so that anybody with a previous record of terrorism or any aggressive or suggestive record is closely monitored as they use the airports.
The security of the aviation industry is tied to all the other modes of transport because at the end of a flight the individual has to work with a train or taxi from the airport to the place they need to go to. The possibility of an individual getting off the plane with an explosive or a weapon and onto a train already compromises the rail transport system (Elias, Peterman, & Frittelli, 2016). The likelihood of them getting into a taxi is also high and compromising the road transport is equally high as well.
The Department of Homeland Security has been able to roll out the Advanced Imaging Technology as well as the Whole Body Imaging technologies in a bid to enhance the screening systems at airports. The technologies are, however facing the problems of people finding them invasive to their privacy. The Department has to find a way of handling this issue and at the same time maintain the effectiveness of the system seeing that it is no longer in use after the privacy issues were highlighted. There are a number of screening techniques that are currently working (Elias, Peterman, & Frittelli, 2016). That includes the Risk-Based Passenger Screening. This methods has reduced the risks that people are exposed to as the technology is not harmful to health or invasive to privacy.
The Department of Homeland Security is supposed to keep in touch with the current trends that the terrorists apply in transporting the explosives sometimes in pieces to be assembled once they get to their destinations. The aircrafts are often vulnerable to very many avenues of attacks. As mentioned before, the planes can be attacked from any direction as long as they are in air (Elias, Peterman, & Frittelli, 2016). Passenger flights are supposed to be protected because they carry innocent people who are often the targets for terrorists. The transit route and exists for people from the flights have to be secured further to prevent the entry of threats beyond the airports. There are also regulations that should be considered with heightened security checks at the points where the planes take off last before land on United States’ soil.
The Department of Homeland Security must be very keen on ensuring that the security of the airports is top notch. The Department of Homeland Security is hence expected to put in place measures to ensure that any new security technology is adopted and customized to secure the points of entry into the United States. Training and public awareness is an important section of the aviation security system. The Department has to be made aware of any changes that can open loopholes to threats in the aviation sector in the country. The United States Department of Homeland Security is well financed and equipped to ensure that the aviation sector is secured as best as possible (Grover, 2016). There are many avenues that the air travel systems can be compromised starting from the cyber-security systems to mechanical security compromises. The Department can be held accountable for the development of systems that will ensure the safety of the American people as well as all the people transiting through the American airports.
Elias, B., Peterman, D. R., & Frittelli, J. (2016). Transportation Security Issues for the 114th Congress. Wasington, DC: Congressional Research Service.
Grover, J. (2016). Aviation Security: Airport Periter and Access Control Security Would Benefit from Risk Assesment and Strategy Updates. Washington DC: Government Accountability Office.
Neffenger, P. (2016, April 06). Transportation Security: Protecting passengers and Freight. Retrieved from Department of Homeland Security: www.tsa.gov/news/testimony/2016/04/06/statement-peter-neffenger-administrator-transportation-security-o
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