The Business of Securing Airports--Keeping the emphasis on Security

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Companies involved with airport security see continued growth opportunities and improvement for travelers.

Companies involved with the growing needs of protecting our nation's aviation interests will agree the U.S. has com along way. Advancements in technology combined with an entirely new mindset are one of the biggest reasons for avoiding acts of terrorism in the aviation industry. New York-based Global Security Associates LLC, is providing guidance to many of the worlds largest airlines on how to strengthen operations through increased security. The business of protecting our nation's airports is a priority and under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) there will be an eight percent increase in funding over fiscal year (FY) 2007 with a total request of $46.4 billion in funding for 2008.

One of the greatest areas of improvement is approach. "Risk-based assessments at airports and working with the airlines to understand where their vulnerabilities was a great step forward. Now this is an accepted way of thinking as history has proven over and over again, you must stay several steps ahead," according to William McGuire, President and CEO of New York-based Global Security Associates, adding that, "While there have been many advancements made in airport security in the last several years, the industry as a whole has more it can do, but it cannot do it alone."

The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) which took over for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is now the governing body for security, performs all screenings of passengers, crew, baggage and cargo, creates strict guidelines for passengers to follow and maintains the 'no-fly/watch list.' Making security work at our nation's airports, McGuire contends is, "the layers of security provided by law enforcement, the TSA and private security contractors, and of course the everyday staff of the airports and the eyes and ears of the employees."

In the report entitled, Transportation Security: Efforts to Strength Aviation and Surface Transportation Security Continue to Progress, but More Work Remains, ( U.S. Government Accountability Office, April 15, 2008), found, "efforts have helped to strengthen the security of the transportation network, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and TSA still face a number of key challenges in further securing these systems. For example, regarding commercial aviation, although TSA has made significant progress in its development of an advanced passenger prescreening system, known as Secure Flight, challenges remain." The report also found not enough future guidance exists from the agency for evaluating future technology enhancements. This is where, many of the opportunities in addition to day-to-day operations, exist for companies serving the aviation security industry.

Answering the call to close the gap in technology, Global Security Associates is offering several programs that have proven to be a successful enhancement to the government's screening efforts. "For several years now, web-based products are supporting the screening process. We have incorporated these programs here around the world in the aviation hubs we manage as it serves as an additional layer of security. Our products SecureSwip™ and SecureCheck™ are verification and access control security programs are used to screen all those looking to gain access to the aircraft and or other secure areas throughout the airport," explains McGuire.

The DHS just recently announced a proposed rulemaking that will establish biometric exit procedures at all U.S. air and sea ports of departure. Biometrics was called for in the 9/11 Commission to confirm that travelers are who they say they are. Other advances in aviation security according to McGuire include the new body scanner installed at New York's Kennedy airport that allows screeners to look beneath traveler's clothing for concealed weapons. GSA provides security services at JFK's Terminal 1, and welcomes this latest technology installments designed to increase the security process.

About Global Security Associates:
Global Security Associates, LLC, (GSA) is recognized as a leading aviation and executive protection security firm. The company provides security reviews and personnel to companies and it's executives throughout the world. Most notably known for its work with national and international airlines, with locations around the globe; companies depend on Global for providing daily security operations, on-going security design protocols, updates and training. GSA has also been a major security supplier to government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and international clients at locations in Europe, the Caribbean, North & Central Africa, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Asia and the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan.

William McGuire, president and CEO of the company, has spent nearly two decades in the security industry. McGuire is a strategic partner with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as an active member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), the National Cargo Security Council (NCSC), and the International Association for Counter-terrorism & Security Professionals.

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