Published on : Thursday, June 30, 2016
ACI EUROPE and the wider airport industry are shocked and saddened by the callous terror attack that took place at Istanbul-Atatürk airport last night. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends and with our airport colleagues at TAV Airports Holding and DHMI.
This is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks targeting not only airports but various other public spaces. The growing frequency of these attacks indicates that our way of life is intrinsically linked to how we secure significant public spaces where large numbers of people gather.
In the wake of the terror attacks that took place in Brussels on 22 March (both at the airport and in the city), national authorities across Europe reviewed the security of their airports. As a result, additional measures have been adopted for public areas (landside) at many airports. These additional measures are aimed at reinforcing surveillance & increasing detection capabilities and they remain in place at this time.
Last night’s attack took place at an airport that has systematic landside security checks on all passengers & visitors as they enter the terminal buildings. Many of the fatalities occurred while people were queueing to access the terminal building – an unfortunate reminder that this kind of additional security measures tends to move the target rather than actually securing it. We must face the reality that when dealing with a terror threat based on suicide bombing, no security measures can ensure 100% protection.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “Security is paramount and we the airport industry remain firmly committed to continuously improving the quality and efficiency of security measures. Airports are already among the most regulated spaces in this regard. What happened yesterday in Istanbul shows us that the real challenge now is to stop terrorists before they ever reach an airport or any other public space – I cannot reiterate enough, better intelligence and more effective information exchange & cooperation between the competent public authorities needs to become the highest priority.”