Strengthening Airport Security: Benefits of Staff Training in Behaviour Detection Awareness

Paul Mason by Paul Mason | May 3, 2024

Paul Mason, Founder and Director at Redline Assured Security, part of the Air Partner Group, sheds light on the critical importance of behaviour awareness trainings for airport personnel, and its pivotal role in ensuring the security of airport operations.

Airport security personnel play a crucial role in safeguarding passengers and preventing potential terrorist threats. Yet, the duty and responsibility of security teams goes beyond security screening areas. Every staff member has the capacity to identify suspicious behaviour.

However, through comprehensive training, they can enhance their observational skills, identify less obvious but detectable signs, and thus, be better prepared to respond promptly and effectively.

Understanding behavioural detection awareness: importance and purpose

Behaviour Detection Awareness training equips staff with the knowledge and understanding, necessary to identify early indicators of suspicious behaviour, thereby serving as a potent tool in threat prevention.  

Examples of such behaviour may include individuals taking pictures or recordings of airport infrastructure, showing unusual interest in security procedures, loitering in sensitive areas, or intentionally concealing their faces.

Behavior Detection Awareness training aims to educate personnel in public settings on how to them to identify and report suspicious behavior associated with potential security threats. This proactive approach emphasizes preparedness and prevention as the primary focus, with the ability to escalate to appropriate responses when needed.

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Recognizing many of these behaviors may seem like common sense, yet without formal training and the sharpening of behavior detection skills, they can easily go unnoticed.

Empowering security: a shared responsibility

While security personnel are crucial as the first line of defence against unlawful or terrorist activities, airports can enhance their security systems by providing training to all employees. This includes immigration officers, customer service agents, cleaners, and retail staff, enabling them to identify suspicious behaviour and promptly alert security personnel. Each of these roles is well-placed to observe potentially suspicious activities, thereby expanding the reach of deterrence, disruption, detection, and timely interception, ultimately mitigating threats effectively.

A cleaner, for example, may discover prohibited substances or suspicious materials during the cleaning of an aircraft during a turnaround, indicating a security breach in the upstream security processes and potentially uncovering a rehearsal of terrorist activity from another source. However, without proper training to recognize and escalate suspicious activity, security personnel may remain unaware until it is too late. When staff can identify and escalate suspicious behaviour quickly, it is more likely for terrorism to be defeated at the earliest opportunity.

Low cost, high impact solutions

Behavioural Detection Awareness training provides a low cost, high impact solution to making airports more secure. Involving all staff in the business of security fosters a safer and more secure workplace environment. Training staff members to understand risk allows them to be proactive in addressing and mitigating different types of issues that may post a threat, and ultimately leads to the creation of an expansive, holistic airport security system.

About Redline Assured Security, part of the Air Partner Group, a Wheels Up Company      

Redline provide a wide range of government-standard security solutions covering high-quality training, quality assurance, auditing, and risk management software for clients globally. They are endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for over 10 years as the UK’s Aviation Security Training Centre (ASTC) and have long-term trusted relationships with the UK’s major airports, leading global cargo companies and several Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) organizations.     More information.

Paul Mason

Paul Mason

Founder and Director at Redline Assured Security, part of Air Partner Group, a Wheels Up company
Paul Mason is Founder and Director at Redline Assured Security, part of Air Partner Group, a Wheels Up company. With over 25 years of aviation experience, Paul has been at the helm of Redline from inception in 2006 through to the internationally acclaimed security training, consultancy, and quality assurance company that it is today.  
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