Study: Training, Group Dynamics Critical in Airport Security Decision-Making

By Joseph Straw


The survey's initial findings indicate that segments of airport personnel—and smaller percentages of security staffs—are willing to act autonomously and outside policy and procedure to make security decisions. They include:

  • Nearly a third (28.6 percent) felt that the security information provided them was not useful.
  • Most (85.9%) “rely on past experience” in spotting potential threats.
  • Two thirds (64.3 percent) agreed that any "unusual behavior is a possible sign of a security threat.”
  • Two thirds (65.3 percent) estimate that most threats are false alarms.
  • A third of all respondents and 10 percent of security personnel said that “I exceed or bend the rules when the situation calls for it.”
  • One fifth (20.5 percent) of the general population and 10 percent of security personnel said they “would even act against orders if the situation called for it.”
  • Over a third (38.2 percent) of the general population and 11.7% of security personnel responded that breaking protocol "is sometimes necessary to get the job done.”
  • Over three quarters (78.7 percent) said they consult coworkers before making a security related decision.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents reported asking coworkers what do in security situations.
  • Nearly all of respondents (98 percent) said that “I help coworkers in my immediate working team.”
  • Nearly three quarters (72.3 percent) said that "I take charge when action is called for and others do not respond"
  • Most  (86.7 percent) said they trust their coworkers.

Funded by the European Union, Bemosa is a consortium of ten companies and research organizations. Academic institutions in the partnership include the Netherlands’s Delft University of Technology, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Other members include Czech software firm B&M Interests, Spanish research nonprofit CARTIF,  and consulting firms Deep Blue Syl of Italy and Helios of the United Kingdom.

♦ Photo of UK security line by kalleboo/Flickr


Airport security

 Airport security is a major concern.Terrorist are constantly looking to target airports and any lapses in the security could lead to a major accident.There is a need of a good access control system in the airport and also the staffs need to be trained to handle the urgent security threats. As pointed out by the author, many staffs don't report the suspicious object found inside the airport campus. They might be afraid of reporting it to the security officers. But they should understand the small negligence could lead to a big disaster.

View Recent News (by day)


Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.