For more than four decades, the aviation industry has had to counter and respond to the threat of terrorism. Air transport has been a high-profile target for terrorists that seek to publicise their cause and further their aims on the international stage. While the number of attacks has declined significantly, the threat has not. The emergence in the past decade of religious fundamentalism and the suicide terrorist presents a very real and present threat to civil aviation.
Whereas the earlier attacks on civil aviation were largely focused against aircraft inflight, the modern trend reflects a broader front of attack, with the aim of causing mass fatalities. We have seen other public transport infrastructure (such as railway systems and underground mass transit systems) targeted by suicide bombers, resulting in very high loss of life. But civil aviation and airports remain a high profile target to the terrorist and other criminals. ACI member airports are on the front line and aviation security remains one of the highest priorities.
Aviation security has undergone significant changes since the events of 11 September, 2001. ACI takes a very active role in informing regulatory authorities of the impact of new security rules, helping to shape those rules and ensuring that changes in security are communicated to airport authorities.
ACI has formulated a number of policy positions on security issues which guide the organisation and member airports. These can be viewed in the ACI Policy Handbook Chapter 7. These are supplemented by more detailed position papers on specific issues, which are developed in response to developments in the industry.