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Practical Aviation Security: Predicting and Preventing Further Threats, Second Edition

Butterworth-Heinemann. Available from ASIS, item #2067; 500 pages; $80 (ASIS member), $88 (nonmember).

Authors Jeffrey Price and Jeffrey Forrest begin the second edition of their well-regarded aviation security textbook with the reflection that: “9-11 will go down in history as a day that changed the way we live.” They then expand on placing it in the context of the 83-year history of threats and actions aimed at aviation.

The authors carefully craft chapters that explain that aviation security measures were enacted in response to events ranging from hijackings to Cuba to the tragedies of Air India Flight 182 and Pan Am Flight 103.

This book shows that terrorism is not the only threat faced by those responsible for safe carriage of passengers and property. An example of this can be found in a table that lists 17 crimes that have been experienced at airports, ranging from vandalism to human trafficking. This diverse list of potential environments strikes home as the book’s review period coincides with the ongoing search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, believed lost over the Pacific Ocean for uncertain and as yet unexplained reasons.

As the reader delves into this book, the depth of research and application delivered by the authors is evident. By combining known facts, detailing legislative directions, and including pertinent case studies, a clear case for appropriate mitigation is outlined. This information will aid those responsible for aviation security environments—not just those tasked with writing the plan, but any person who is actively involved in this complex, choreographed behavior, and will explain why they must do what they do.

The modern-day security processes for the aviation industry are encapsulated here in 12 chapters that define objectives, carefully outline standards development, and provide detailed insight into matters ranging from the development of international aviation security practices to passenger and baggage screening and the physical layers of security needed around aviation-based facilities. Mitigation for all areas has been included both in practical form and within regulatory guidance, and the book concludes with a discussion of threat matrixes as well as effective security operations.

While some of the information may appear to be focused on the United States in application, it should be remembered that, with few exceptions, the bulk of recent activity against aviation has been directed at the United States and its citizens. This book should be required reading for all those involved in the protection of airports, airlines, aircraft, and—above all—passengers.

Reviewer: Paul Stanley, CPP, is a senior security advisor for BC Hydro, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He serves on the ASIS International Utilities Security Council.