“Integrated aviation security solutions combining knowledge, people and technology”

Johan Gordts, Vice President Business Development, Securitas Transport Aviation Services: “We are constantly looking for the right profiles, in order to be able to deliver the best person for the task at hand. All of our recruits undergo very thorough background screening, whereby Securitas aims to avoid the existing risk of Insider Threat in the airport ecosystem.”

Securitas is Platinum Sponsor at this year’s ACI EUROPE Security Summit, taking place in Tel Aviv, 17-19 September 2019. Ahead of the event, Johan Gordts, Vice President Business Development, Securitas Transport Aviation Services, shared some thoughts with Ross Falconer.

Within the Securitas group, Securitas Aviation solely focuses on aviation security services.

“As a specialised aviation security provider, it is crucial to be at the ACI EUROPE Security Summit, to exchange views and information with the various airport stakeholders, and to make sure we understand what airports, airlines and other players in this market need, not only today but especially in the future,” says Johan Gordts, Vice President Business Development, Securitas Transport Aviation Services. “This information allows us to offer our customers adequate and tailor-made integrated aviation security solutions combining knowledge, people and technology.”

Securitas Aviation has launched several corporate initiatives, including workshops with aviation experts, exchanges and trials with technology partners, and in-depth customer events, to get a clear view on the future needs of all stakeholders.

“These initiatives brought us focus and determined the scope of our market strategy,” Gordts explains.

In this context, Securitas Aviation has had the opportunity to implement new technologies that have been emerging in recent years, including Centralized Image Processing (CIP) for cabin baggage screening and cargo, Checkpoint Environment Management, 3D Computed Tomography, and perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS).

“Although these new technologies offer advantages for airports and private security providers – not least the ability to track and review decision-making processes – they also bring challenges for the security officers operating these new technologies,” Gordts comments. “Through our operations in Zagreb, Paris-CDG, Liège and Montréal, we have gained considerable experience in implementing and using these technologies.”

Securitas Aviation aims to build partnerships with airports and other stakeholders in order to offer tailor-made solutions. An example can be found at Zagreb Airport, where Securitas Aviation Croatia has implemented a comprehensive security solution, combining Automated Tray Return Systems (ATRS) and CIP.

“The new solution consists of three lanes, including parallel divest, automated tray return, CIP, and a comprehensive security management system,” Gordts explains. “It allows for faster passenger processing, increased customer service and improved working conditions. Securitas Aviation Croatia takes care of the entire process, from design to implementation, and will continue to maintain the technology and provide the overall management of the security screening checkpoint throughout the years to come.”

Securitas Aviation strongly believes in the efficiencies these types of technologies can bring, and has invested in preparing its staff to work with these concepts early on.

“Over the past years, we have been involved in various trials at airports around the world, from implementing automated lanes to the use of 3D Computed Tomography for cabin and cargo screening,” says Gordts. “These projects have allowed us to investigate further possibilities and new ways of working, such as redefining the role of security officers. For example, very little scientific research has been done on how Centralized Image Processing affects the human factor. In collaboration with CASRA (Center for Adaptive Security Research and Applications), Securitas Transport Aviation Security is now investigating various CIP human factor aspects, among which is a possible change in rotation schedules with longer screening session durations.”

This type of research, and the insights it brings, can lead to a whole new discussion regarding the effects of fixed positions and specialised functions on the performance and well-being of security officers.

Gordts notes that, although technology is gaining more and more importance, the human factor will continue to play a crucial role.

“People will still have to take critical decisions at specific moments in the security process. So, it is not only about installing technology, it’s about having a professional organisation with highly skilled people operating it. Furthermore, we invest substantially in our people through professional training and career development, providing them with the opportunity to continuously evolve.”

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