European Association of Airport and Seaport Police
Aviation continues to be an attractive target for the terrorist and history shows us that the terrorist will use sophisticated means to target all parts of the aviation sector. Whether that be in flight aircraft, the use of aircraft as weapons or to target the airport environs to kill or injure as many people as possible. They continually seek opportunities to develop sophisticated means to infiltrate the aviation environment. The importance of effective information sharing across law enforcement, industry and development of new counter terrorism techniques is crucial in staying one step ahead of the terrorist.
Criminality also present a significant threat within the aviation sector. Organised criminality in relation to smuggling people and goods, organised high value theft and general low level crime which impacts on law abiding citizens using our airports. The threat that dishonest and corrupt people pose that work within the sector and have privileged access to infrastructure, information and systems all pose an opportunity for the terrorist to exploit.
There will always be emerging threats to aviation for instance from cyber-attack, unmanned aerial vehicles, laser attacks to name just a few. The importance of being one step ahead in our thinking and how we effectively counter these threats cannot be under estimated.
The EAASP has the following objectives:
- To facilitate access to the expert aviation policing (and security) skills held by EAASP members in order to influence EU policy and legislation to make aviation safer. We will also provide assistance and advice to individual countries & organisations in developing and sharing best practice in aviation safety and security.
- To contribute the extensive expertise held by members to academic and other studies that will benefit making aviation safer
- To extend our membership across Europe attracting new members that can contribute to making aviation safer from the threat of terrorism and crime
- To facilitate the exchange of aviation related information and ideas that will contribute to improving safety and security throughout the industry; this will be achieved through networking and exchange opportunities.
- To ensure our annual conference has relevant and rich content that contributes to improving safety and security across the sector. This will be achieved by having high quality expert speakers and opportunities to share best practice and learning.
- To further the EAASP reputation as a centre of excellence, promoting closer working with key international partners, sharing best practice and methodology to continually advance safety and security across the sector.
Within the European Union (and greater Europe) the EAASP works to adopt a consistent risk-based approach to security, seeks continuous improvement in regulatory procedures, develops industry-led Security Management Systems and improves detection of non-metallic explosives (and the like) whilst remaining forward looking to identify new or emerging threats both from terrorism and crime.
Our purpose is to maintain an effective security regime that makes the aviation environment a hostile one for terrorists and criminals which, at the same time, is a safe environment for travellers, visitors and staff.
We aim to drive our involvement and support through the objectives outlined above. We seek to develop a better understanding of the activity carried out by the various European policing and border control organisations. This can include, where appropriate, private companies that support member nation policing efforts.
On the website Aviation Update page are some of the European organisations with whom we share a professional relationship and encourage cooperation, including: FRONTEX; the Pompidou Group; the EU Stakeholder Advisory Group on Aviation Security (SAGAS); Migration, Asylum, Refugees, Regional Initiative (MARRI); AIRPOL and EUROPOL.
Rob Atkin MBE Chief Superintendent
Aviation Policing, Metropolitan Police, United Kingdom.
EAASP Vice President (Aviation)