Dr. Maria Alvanou, ITSTIME member, has made a presentation during the international conference “AVIATION AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS” held in Athens at the Institute for International Relations (27-05-2016). The presentation was about security of airports and air transportation from terror operations, issues that are very vital after the attack in Brussels.
Air transportation is a crucial element influencing globalization, economy, even culture and airports are its fundamental infrastructure. Hence, airports are primary targets for terrorists who either attack directly airports, or use them to get on board flights and carry their operations.
For this reason the examples-case studies of the 1985 Rome and Vienna airport attacks and the 1986 Anne- Marie Murphy/Hidawi affair were analyzed to show operational matters and methodology of terrorists and how they were handled by authorities/security. “Situational prevention measures” and best practices from international airports were highlighted, taking into account both practical limitations and the phenomenon of “displacement” of terror activity (use of more available and easy types of operations). Above all it was argued that for safe airports and safe flights the starting point for law enforcement/security agencies is miles away and days before. It is good intelligence, as an inherent part of a successful counter terrorism policy, that is needed above all for the effective prevention of terror attacks. The PNR system that was approved by the European Parliament in April was described a step towards this direction, although problems concerning data privacy and human rights considerations were also underlined.