Six Tips to Enhance Airport Security and Deliver a Great Experience

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Part of the FAA’s mission is to make sure that airports comply with security standards to keep employees, passengers, and others safe when they are on the ground and in the air, but managing compliance with FAA rules and airport security policy can be complicated. Ensuring that airport employees, temporary contractors and other personnel get to work quickly and easily requires a balance of security and safety.

With the right approach, airports can dramatically enhance the passenger experience, modernize security operations, streamline identity management and ensure compliance across all secure areas. Whether you’re authorizing flight crew, concessions workers, porters, baggage handlers, contractors, temps, or other employees, there are some practical steps to make security compliance much more manageable. Here are six key steps to follow when building out and strengthening an airport security compliance program:

1. Measure and Analyze Security Data to Understand Compliance Challenges

The only way to improve compliance is to understand current performance against regulations, like those put in place by the FAA, airport and airlines or other third parties.That means getting the right measures in place. Identify key metrics and make sure you’ve got accurate, high-quality, timely data for each of those areas. These may include:

  • How employees fill in security forms
  • What information is missing from forms
  • The number of badges issued
  • The number of badges not returned
  • Employee awareness of security and compliance

With these measures in place, tracking trends and identifying problem areas becomes easier.

2. Create Airport Security and Compliance Awareness Across the Workforce

Employee awareness is vital to a secure and compliant environment. That means providing training, resources, and guidance for security policies and regulations. To improve employee awareness, create:

  • Crisp, easy-to-digest messaging that clearly outlines expectations, making it clear that compliance and security are expected and essential parts of everyone’s job description
  • Visual aids, like posters, that communicate the compliance message
  • Improved communication, where supervisors and managers are encouraged to coach their team members on security policies and regulations
  • Online resources, interactive guides and FAQs, then make them widely available from a central location

3. Learn How Employees, Temporary Workers and Others Perceive Airport Compliance

One of the most effective ways to improve compliance across the airport is to understand how well people understand and adhere to regulations. Achieve this through pulse checks, interviews, surveys and other methods that dig into security. Engage with a broad range of the workforce and people that are part of the daily process, including temporary workers, contractors and third-party employees. This will help you to get a good feel of how well compliance messaging is received.

4. Incentivize People Towards Compliance Using Rewards and Recognition

Positive reinforcement is a fantastic way to encourage good behavior from your staff. Build rewards and recognition for compliance into your HR processes and work with supervisors and managers to make them a part of employee meetings and one-to-ones. Publicly recognize where employees are demonstrating a good understanding of compliance so that security becomes a natural habit for the workforce.

5. Work With Peers Across and Outside Your Organization

Security and compliance only work if there is understanding and buy-in across your organization. This means engaging with stakeholders at an executive and senior management level, in addition to middle managers and your workforce. Also, speak to colleagues at other airports on how they are implementing FAA and airport security policies in their operations. Attend webinars, get involved with industry training, or pick up the phone to see what’s working.

6. Deploy an Automated Airport Compliance Solution

One major challenge with compliance is that business processes and data are often spread across multiple systems, software and hardware. Introducing a centralized, integrated platform that can manage all airport security compliance needs in one place will significantly reduce administrative overhead and the burden on employees.

HID® SAFE™ for Aviation partners with aviation leaders around the globe to create optimized physical identity onboarding and issuance workflows with machine learning and deep analytics to monitor compliance.

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Ian Lowe is Product Marketing Director for HID SAFE and is passionate about marketing all things related to Identity, Cybersecurity, IoT, Cloud and Digital transformation. In his 19-year career, Ian has become a recognized product marketing and sales enablement leader having created and launched successful cloud-based identity and security solutions that are used by top technology firms, financial services organizations and governments around the world today.