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Angela Gittens, View from the top. Issue 6 2014

Director general, Angela Gittens, discusses ACI’s work in the realm of airport security and the importance of knowledge sharing.

This security-themed issue of Airport World is timely in that ACI has been very active working with governments and industry partners to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of aviation security processes, both in the short-term and the long-term.

The ACI World Security Standing Committee leads the efforts in conjunction with Regional Committees. At its most recent meeting in October, the Committee agreed a comprehensive work package, which included the development of an Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security peer review programme. Volunteers were solicited to form a small advisory body with the aim of planning the implementation.

The worldwide success of the APEX in Safety peer review programme, combined with a clearly communicated desire on the part of member airports for a similar initiative focused on security, makes it apparent that this new initiative will fill a gap and ultimately result in better, more efficient security operations for participating airports. 

We would expect the same sort of gains for both the Host airport (the one being reviewed) and the ‘security partner’ airports (the ones contributing peer reviewers) that we have seen in the APEX in Safety programme. 

Along similar lines, ACI is collaborating with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to improve existing passenger security processes, particularly Security Access and Egress. 

Known familiarly as the SAE project, the expected outcomes are to help airports and airlines increase passenger screening throughput and improve passenger satisfaction by tackling elements that can be improved through passenger information, passenger identification, education and process redesign with minimal investment, without any interference with the security outcome while maintaining the determined level of security. 

The project also intends to establish a toolbox with solutions that airports and airlines can choose from to increase efficiency and improve passenger facilitation.

For the longer-term, ACI is in collaboration with IATA on the Smart Security project. This initiative is a blend of the former ACI Europe Better Security and the IATA Checkpoint of the Future projects, and seeks to define the future of security screening and develop other improvements in the overall security process. 

The steering body of the project consists of equal numbers of airports, airlines and governments, with ACI and IATA forming the Secretariat. Geneva Airport has generously contributed a secondee to represent ACI.

ACI and IATA have signed co-operation agreements with the airport and airline of Qatar and with Melbourne Airport and Qantas to participate in trials of technology and processes in support of the programme. 


Exciting developments to come in 2015

As we look ahead to next year I’d like to remind you that we have a number of events scheduled, all with the primary aim of equipping delegates with actionable intelligence so that
they can make a real difference in the management and operation of their airports. 

The first quarter of 2015 will be busy, both regionally and worldwide. ACI-NA hosts its Risk Management Conference in San Diego (January 14–16) before heading to Reno for its Customer Service Seminar (January 27–29). 

ACI World, in partnership with ACI Europe and ACI Asia-Pacific, then hosts the 7th Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London (February 25–27), widely hailed as the premier event of its kind.

Finally for the first quarter, ACI-NA will host its Washington Legislative Conference (March 3–4), before heading to Vancouverfor its Business Information Technology, Environmental Affairs and Public Safety & Security conferences (March 22–25).

I urge you to take advantage of the learning and networking opportunities that these events offer. 

Of course, 2015 holds much more in terms of both ACI’s work on security and relevant conference and exhibitions, but you’ll hear more about this in an upcoming Airport World issue. 

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