Striking a Balance between Safety and Airline Passenger Satisfaction

New York, New York — Keeping passengers safe and getting them on their way is becoming an increasingly difficult job for airlines to manage, by themselves. "There are many safety concerns, alerts and regulatory requirements to be aware of. Simply going it alone without additional professional assistance is difficult to manage, hugely burdensome on the airline and causes undue stress on the holiday and business traveler," explains William McGuire, President and CEO of the New York-based international aviation security company, Global Security Associates, LLC.

"While travelers may be exacerbated by the security procedures, they all know there is a reason for it," explains Victor Anderes, Vice President of Emergency Response Planning for Global Security Associates, adding, "Threat levels continue to shift up and down which has caused some confusion in terms of interpreting what sort of response is required and what restrictions exist." In what the company calls "Threat Fatigue" travelers have been lulled into a sense of security over the last five years, while airlines still need to keep their guard up and are. A combination which fuels stress levels for the traveler and airline trying to manage both.

GSA works closely with its clients to implement consistent, individually tailored programs and robust security measures designed to avoid compromises in service and security. "By engaging high-quality, dedicated and trained personnel, GSA integrates security measures into part of the service delivery process—to the point where customers may not even realize that they have undergone a security process," states Anderes.

While airlines have been adapting needed programs and technology to keep its passengers safe, they still have a distance to go so companies like Global are offering vital services to enhance safety and speed the process along. "GSA assists clients in assessing threat conditions and implementing appropriate security countermeasures to address the changing security climate. Through our 24/7 intelligence monitoring and threat forecasting operations center, we are able to assist clients with their response," says Anderes. GSA utilizes leading edge technology such as proprietary software SecurSwipe to increase security while reducing bottlenecks in the overall process.

When the national and international threat levels were raised this past summer, GSA's operations center responded by assisting its airline clients with additional trained personnel to meet the demand of screening and removing restricted items while assisting travelers. "Threat levels can be raised at anytime without warning and it is important to know we are a phone call away. We often know before our clients as we monitor the security climate through intelligence reports. We have teams assembled and ready to go," states McGuire. GSA believes that because commercial aviation is a service industry it cannot afford an absolutist approach to security. This would drive business away and ultimately result in its demise. A risk management approach is required to strike the right balance and measured approach.

As aviation security moves more high-tech, terrorists tend to resort to more low-tech methods of attack. GSA firmly believes that technology helps secure aviation, but human interface and control are crucial to securing it.