Airports are frequently making the news right now. From flight cancellations to queues so big they’re spilling into airport car parks; it seems that the industry is in crisis. The ongoing staff shortages started when commercial flights were grounded at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. More than two years on, we’re still not completely recovered and now the industry is facing new concerns with soaring aviation costs due to bans on flights over Russian airspace. This is a critical period and as members of the aviation industry, it’s vital that we maintain business as usual over the issues that we have control over – such as airport security training. 

Why is security training so important in an airport?

The aviation industry is unique. Airports are a gateway to the rest of the world and so it follows that there is potential for them to become targets for politically or ideologically motivated attacks. By ensuring staff are well-trained to spot problems before they arise, adequate and recurrent training can save lives and avert disaster. The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre saw a huge step change in airport security procedures but, security training isn’t just about acts of international terrorism.

What can airport security training protect against?

Airport security is constantly growing and improving. Not only can it, as previously mentioned, minimise the threat of terrorist attacks, it’s also in place to prevent the trafficking of illegal substances, reduce the risk of accidents, protect against cyber threats, even reduce the spread of infectious diseases. In short, airport security training is essential.

Is airport security training covered in general induction training?

On average, airport security staff will receive around 4 weeks of paid training before they undertake the role but security training within an airport setting is so vital that it cannot be a one-time event. Depending on role and seniority, security staff will require at least an additional day of training per year to ensure that the airport is meeting all of the legislative requirements. If mandatory training isn’t kept up to date, then staff will be unable to work no matter how much they or their employer wish them to. 

Why does airport security training impact daily operations?

Many of the flight cancellations, airport delays and out-the-door queues seen in airports in recent weeks and months has been down to the shortage of fully screened, vetted and trained staff following the lockdowns, job losses and ongoing illnesses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Without adequate, fully-trained staff available, it follows that the volume of travellers will not be able to be processed, checked in, cleared through security, before finally boarding their flight (of which Manchester airport, for example, is currently running around 580 flights per day) within the necessarily brief time frame.

How can airports stay on top of security training?

International airports are high-volume employers. Heathrow airport, for example, has more than 76,000 staff, which means entering names and dates into a database simply won’t cut it when it comes to staying on top of vital training.

AIRDAT Passport training system is designed to take the difficulty out of airport security training. The intuitive, easy-to-use system keeps all training records available on the cloud.

Rather than setting unreliable reminders on a spreadsheet or calendar, AIRDAT’s Passport system automatically reminds both the employee and their manager of when training needs to be renewed. Reminders are sent at 3 months, 1 month and on the date of expiry, meaning no security training will expire and staff shortages should be kept to a minimum.

Customised dashboards and reports provide state of play and give plenty of time for preparation for Operations managers ensuring training never lapses, audits are a breeze and all security staff are always ready to go. 

How could AIRDAT’s Passport ease the crisis?

The Passport system gives managers and their administrators configurable dashboards to provide an overview of all employees. Managers will clearly see which percentage of staff will need additional training in the coming weeks and months and be notified if any staff are approaching the expiration of their training well in advance. Giving managers the tools and information to identify problems well ahead of time and plan accordingly.
A dedicated airport training system such as AIRDAT’s Passport will allow management to stay on top of existing staff training but, perhaps even more pertinently, it will enable them to recruit and train thousands of new staff with ease. This is a time of great upheaval in the aviation industry but there are systems in place that can avert crisis and allow airports to continue to function at the highest level.