Air transport security is likely to be the primary security concern in the coming millennium, says International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security chief Roydon Sutherland.

ICAO has won a mandate for its worldwide Safety Oversight Programme and Sutherland predicts that the organisation will seek a mandate for a similar programme related to a security audit.

Sutherland identifies several potential threats either against commercial aviation or by the use of air transport for dangerous and illegal purposes. These include:

• conventional terrorism;

• cyber terrorism;

• trafficking in nuclear or fissionable materials and other dangerous goods;

• sabotage incited by economic rivalry;

• disruptive passengers;

• portable air defence systems;

Speaking at the recent Airports Council International conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sutherland urged airports to reinforce their present surveillance methods, introducing deterrence in the form of "an energetic public relations campaign advertising security countermeasures in force at an airport and by air carriers."

Source: Flight International