To ensure that the level of security is at an all-time high, airport security experts have been taking drastic measures, including cabin checks and the deployment of armed or unarmed security guards.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent staff shortage at airports, government bodies continue to conduct a range of procedures to enhance security screening procedures.
In 2021, the Transportation Security Administration introduced new protocols to facilitate a smooth and safe screening process to address the burgeoning passenger traffic, such as the adoption of CT
(computed tomography) units to provide 3-D images of carry-on bags’ contents. As per the Federal Aviation Administration, there were more than 5,550 reports of unruly passengers between January and December 2021, which could drive airport security market demand over the years ahead.
With the growing number of air passengers, several aviation agencies and government bodies are focusing on embracing new technologies and improving surveillance and access control across multiple airports.
Following are 4 prominent factors bolstering airport security industry expansion:
- Deployment of IoT and AI tech in analytics and security systems
Airport stakeholders are consistently developing visions for the digitalization of airport operations and digital terminals through automation and innovative technologies. New information and
communications technologies like AI and IoT sensors are at the peak of inflated expectations to induce these changes, contributing to the revolution of airport security systems.
To deliver a high level of security, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. announced the implementation of Queue Management Systems in June 2021. These systems combined AI video analytics and IoT security cameras to reduce waiting time at passenger touchpoints, thus enhancing passenger experience and safety.
- Technological innovation in aviation sector
While AI technology is increasingly used to automate security checkpoints in the aviation industry, adversarial AI can cause ML models to wrongly interpret inputs and behave in a manner favorable to attackers. As a result, cyber-security risks may evolve rapidly, and the low costs of cyber-attacks can make them easily affordable to criminal and terrorist organizations, creating a major hindrance to procedures like automated airport security checking. As per the European Aviation Safety Agency’s estimates, over 1,000 attacks occur on aviation systems per month, emerging as a threat to airport security, safety, and reputation. Despite the rising number of attackers and the risks of technological advancement, however, AI also comes along with a range of opportunities capable of increasing the efficiency of airports, thereby augmenting the demand for airport body scanners and other security equipment.
- Regulatory frameworks and workshops against terrorist attacks
Numerous legal frameworks and regulations have been introduced worldwide to prevent and effectively respond to terrorist acts against maritime and air transportation. Out of the 19 international legal instruments, 12 of them are related to terrorism prevention in the international civil aviation and maritime navigation sectors.
Also, in an attempt to address terrorist attacks in airports, the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) CTWG (Counter-Terrorism Working Group) held a virtual workshop on the Soft Target Protection in an Aviation Ecosystem. This workshop was aimed at discussing the challenges associated with soft target protection across the commercial aviation sector. These initiatives could encourage the usage of airport security scanners and other cutting-edge devices to help airport systems respond and recover from
- Spending on airport upgradation projects
Following a decline in capital expenditure during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) granted around $845 million for projects at over 388 airports in 49 states as well as the District of Columbia in July 2021. Tucson International Airport was among the recipients of this grant and obtained $22.4 million for the overhaul of the Runway 11R/29L and the airport’s safety enhancement program.
In addition, a partial recovery in capital investment by over 14% to $12 billion was expected in 2021. With the gradual revival of airport business from the pandemic disruptions, the airport security market
is projected to grow substantially over the coming years.