HOT TOPIC Security

from getting worse

Preventing the bad

The boss of TAV Istanbul Ataturk Airport is a great believer that the best way to beat the terrorists is to get on with life as quickly as possible.

CEO Sani Sener said the facility reopened just eight hours after the attack on June 28,

2015, which saw 45 people killed after three terrorists attacked with automatic rifles and explosive belts. He added: “When you reopen, you have a message to the terrorist

– you are saying you cannot interfere in our daily lives.” However, Sener said the attack could have been a lot worse if it

hadn’t been for the police, even though they initially thought the terrorists were baggage thieves. Instead, they only realised the full extent of the danger once the attackers pulled out their guns and started shooting.

He added: “[The attackers] tried to get to the [Turkish Airlines] CIP lounge in the international terminal which could have had as many as 500 or 600 passengers there. “They were trying to kill the business class passengers. If they had

detonated themselves in the CIP lounge, then they could have had the chance to kill 500 people. “The secret in crisis management… is preventing the bad from getting worse.” Now, Sener believes there needs to be greater cooperation between the public and private partnerships, thus allowing for the better sharing of intelligence. He also said the airport had learnt the importance of having

effective muster points for evacuating passengers. They also encountered a number of additional problems with transit passengers who were evacuated but didn’t have the correct visas. Staff are also receiving help to get over the attack he said, adding: “We give them time, we give them love. It was a traumatic situation.”

terrorists but stop the next generation from being radicalised.” Belgian deputy prime minister and

minister of the interior and security Jan Jambon also used the event to argue that there are a number of measures to help protect airports. He said effective information gathering and sharing among European security teams was vital to pre-empt attacks while airports should consider various tactics to better protect themselves, ranging from improved car number-plate reading technology being employed further from the airport to more behaviour detection officers patrolling terminals looking for suspicious behaviour. Jambon added: “The huge thing to do

in terms of security is to anticipate rather than react. Once you have to react, it is already too late. The Bataclan attack (in 2015 in Paris) sent the message that we are all targets now – no matter who you are, we will hit you with random acts of violence.” Delegates at the event were also broadly

welcoming of the UN Security Council Resolution 2309, which seeks to improve civil aviation safety. The resolution not only backs enhanced security and screening but is also urging states to share intelligence more for the benefit of all.

Stepping up the pace of change Alexis Long, Heathrow’s head of security policy and a member of the ACI Europe aviation security committee and ACI world security standing committee, was just one of the delegates to back the resolution However, he urged conference delegates

to pick up the rate of change to make flying safer quicker. Long said: “The UN security resolution

is very good, but is it going to deliver the rate of change quickly enough? “Plots are happening right now and we

are not reacting quickly enough.” He also argued that while legislation is light on how airports can protect themselves, the industry should use it as an opportunity to set its own standards with less outside interference. Long added: “What I would like is if we

could get together and explore that and come up with a situation that suits us, and take the pressure off the politicians from having to do more.” He used the event to urge other

“The thing to do is anticipate rather than react. Once you have to react, it is already too late. The Bataclan attack (in 2015 in Paris) sent the message that we are all targets now”


airport operators to start implementing improvements to their security as opposed to simply discussing them. “While I absolutely get that it is a very

important topic to discuss and we need to be clear on improving it, my fear is we’re talking about it too much,” Long said. £

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