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risk factors to their operations. Evaluation of nuisance alarms should be conducted to determine if these
are an indication of a systemic problem and should not routinely be silenced. The likelihood and
consequence of incidents should include all stakeholders since their awareness and reactions could be
different based on the nature of the threat. Thus, integration in the overall lifecycle management of an
incident through final resolution (including post-incident analysis and recommendations for ‘lessons
learned’) is paramount to an effective security access control system.
Standards, Regulatory Requirements and Recommended Practices
There are a number of regulatory/statutory requirements due to local, state and federal jurisdictions that
should be considered for any airport security access control system, and guidance is best provided by
consultation with appropriate authorities within each airport region. However, recommendations for
security guidelines that have been adopted by federal agencies and best practices can provide an airport
owner/operator with the information needed to comply with these regulations to enhance the assurance of
grant availability. Guidance and information security standards related to risk management, security
categorization, controls, assessments and authorizations, and an overall risk management framework are
recommended and available. For instance, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)
provides guidance publications and updates to the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS 201) as
may be of use to airport owner/operators determining credentialing policies, plans and procedures. There
are a number of national and international standards either applicable or useful for airport operators to
consider and those as may be pertinent to a single Section’s topic may be reflected only in that Section.
Other more generally applicable standards may be found in Appendix A: Standards.
The importance of safety and security of airports is universally accepted as a priority in the aviation
industry. The execution of programs supported by technology for achieving a secure and safe environment
is influenced by a range of factors, including the airport size, scope and complexity of operations, level of
staff, operating budget and availability of critical resources. In general, an airport ConOps will typically
include the following:
Statement of the goals and objectives of the systems
Strategies, policies, and constraints affecting the systems
Organizations, activities, and interactions among participants and stakeholders
Clear statements of responsibilities and authorities delegated
Specific operational processes for fielding the systems
Conceptual overview of technology and infrastructure to meet user requirements
Processes for initiating, developing, maintaining, and retiring the system
Access control is just one of growing number of technology systems that are available to support safety and
security programs. As the complexity of integrated systems increases, it is important that technology
system designers understand the need for an airport ConOps to be used as a driver for the development of
security technologies and facilities. Airport ConOps plans should be reviewed by security design
professionals to harmonize with the planning and design of other airport technologies and facilities so that
adjustments can be made to address design constraints. Further, the ConOps is not a one-time event; it is
a dynamic living document that is reviewed and revised regularly, as conditions and technology evolve.
The system design fuses data, processes and procedures from various security systems, sensors and other
technologies to support the coherent operations model of an access control system. Requirements definitions
and a functional decomposition of the system address stakeholder concerns should be done as part of the
system design. Many airports will have a mix of legacy and emerging systems and technologies; e.g., a
fusion approach would facilitate the integration of legacy fingerprint with emerging biometrics
technology to harden access to secure areas of the airport. More information on these and other related
topics may be found in Section 8: Integration.
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