A Framework for Analysis of Security Measures Within On-airport Cargo Facilities

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 displayed the shortcomings of aviation security in the United States. Most of the attention on aviation security since that time has focused on airline passengers, their luggage, and their carry-on items, leaving air cargo security on the back burner. The lack of security screening and screening guidelines of cargo traveling by both passenger and all-cargo aircraft is the driving purpose behind this research project: the development of a framework that may be used by individual airports or airlines to analyze various security setups for screening outbound air cargo within an on-airport cargo facility. This was accomplished through airport surveys, a case study at an air cargo facility, and computer simulations testing various setups of security technologies to screen cargo within a facility. Data collected from surveys sent to major airports around the nation revealed the lack of security in the air cargo environment and validated the need for this research. Information was obtained on security measures utilized for cargo and personnel, as well as the frequency of cargo screenings and information on the size and setups of cargo facilities. A case study was performed at a cargo facility within a major U.S. airport in order to gather data pertinent to the simulations used to test the security setups. Information gathered on truck arrivals, the number of flight destinations, security measures in place, as well as the general facility setup was used to form the basis of the simulations. The simulations, conducted in Arena 7.01, tested the effectiveness and cargo throughput of four security cases. Each case employed a different combination of security measures proven suitable for an air cargo environment. The security setups were evaluated based on the security systems’ costs, the overall effectiveness of catching highrisk cargo, and the average amount of time taken to process cargo through the facility. The Arena simulations present airlines, freight forwarders, and airport authorities with the necessary tool to evaluate various cargo security screening measures that will provide the best security solution for their particular facility or facilities. However, further research is needed on the effectiveness of many security technologies. With this information, government and aviation officials will be able to use this framework as a step toward achieving a well-rounded plan for ensuring the safety and security of our nation’s air cargo.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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