Interview with the Public Aviation Office

The Interview Process

The focus of the interview is on a senior manager in the aviation security division. As a result, a call was placed to the senior management. The interviewee was given an introduction to the interviewer, which included the purpose of the interview. As a result, a rapport was established, allowing the other step of interviewing the candidate to proceed with minimal difficulty.

The interviewee was ecstatic to find that a student was conducting study on the airport's security division. The passion displayed throughout the phone call was a clear sign that the respondent was providing accurate personal information. Prior to placing the interview call, interview questions were prepared, which the manager was to answer. It included having both open-ended and closed-ended interview questions, which were able to elicit significant response from the interviewee. Further, the interviewee was requested for permission and willingness to engage in the interview process. The manager willingly granted the request and was very happy during the interview process.

Before the interview was conducted, there was pre-testing of the protocol for the interview. It included determination of the audio-taping technique, scheduling of the interview, identification of the note-taking form, pre-determination of the logistics and needs for data analysis, communication with the participant, indication of the confidentiality level, and illustration that there will be no sharing of the results with other parties. During the interview, the style of the interviewer was identified, which aided in ensuring that the interviewee was able to communicate freely. There was also a consideration for the length of the interview, since the interviewee is a busy person working in a highly demanding organization. Further, different sets of questions were created, which the participant had to answer freely. After the interview was conducted, the collected data were revisited to ascertain its accuracy level. This step was followed by preparation for data analysis and allocation of adequate time to conduct this process successfully.

Functions of the Division

The aviation security division has the task of protecting the entire airline business from interference that originates from the unlawful acts. As such, all the personnel, both staff and passengers, who are in the airport, are required to be alert (Department of Civil Aviation, 2017). The aim is to ensure that they have the potential to report to the security people of any suspicious incidents or objects, which could affect the security of the aviation. The persons tasked with the security role then execute their mandate to protect all the people and cargo in the airport.

The division also has the responsibility of ensuring that all the people, who are travelling through the airlines, are protected. To achieve this goal, the security division has to screen all the baggage and passengers who are departing as well as establishing physical separation. These people should also conduct airport security patrols in order to detect any form of incidences, which could be present in the airport that could compromise the state of security.

The managers of the division engage in the formulation of the security procedures and measures, which need implementation in the airports. It includes the separation of the airport into airside and landside areas. The airside areas get access from authorized passengers and persons only, while the landside sections are accessible by all public members. The separation of these areas is through guarded personnel or physical boundaries of the airports. Thus, there are designated points, where the screening takes place. On the same, the access to the airport from other locations is highly prohibited (Department of Civil Aviation, 2017). All vehicles, which access the restricted security areas, undergo examination. Furthermore, the sections are all surveilled and patrolled to ensure that there is effective protection of the entire airport.

The security of the aircraft focuses on ensuring that each carrier, prior to the departure, there is checking and searching of the aircraft to ascertain that prohibited articles are not concealed while on board. There is also protection of the airport from access, which is not authorized. Further, there is routine identification, protection, and screening of the hold baggage, which is normally loaded to the aircraft prior to the departure (Department of Civil Aviation, 2017). Specific security procedures are also established, which ensure that there is no risk of unlawful acts, which include placing dangerous or prohibited materials or objects into mail and cargo that is to be flow by all-mail aircraft, all-cargo, and passenger aircraft. It includes the designation of the agent who is regulated as well as the establishment of the consignor regime.

The airport security managers have to ensure that the division is compliant with all TSA standards. It includes ensuring that there are regular security inspections of airport grounds, terminals, and tenant facilities to ascertain the CFR 1542 compliance as well as the airport rules and regulation, security directives, and airport security program (Holmes, 2011). A filing and maintenance of the documentation on monthly basis for the inspection compliance is also needed. It covers the review of all the security related functions, which are performed in the airport.

The division also engages in conducting the multiple comprehensive security audits, assessments, and tests. It includes responding to different requests from the airport stakeholders, local and federal law enforcement agencies, and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) (Holmes, 2011). All the documents on policies and airport security program have to be updated at all times. Moreover, the division plays a significant role in assisting in the drafting of the TSA response letters for investigations and conducting and coordinating outreach security training that ensures that tenants or employees are updated on security policies and regulations. Furthermore, the division attends and coordinates the construction meetings and other gatherings focused on discussing compliance and security issues in the airport.

Problems Encountered

A key problem, which is faced in the security division, is the security threats, which are linked to the entire aviation industry. The source of these threats are lone wolf radicals, terrorist organizations, and insider threat, which draw attention by planning attacks using improvised explosive devices and firearms (Tran, 2016). The attacks include cyber threat that compromises the entire network system of the organization. Any uncovered oversight or inside knowledge has the likelihood of being exploited such that there is significant aviation security threat and harming of the entire industry.

There is also the issue of security screening. This aspect includes the checkpoints for the contract workers and the staff members. Majority of the passengers are familiar with cabin baggage and travelers' checkpoint screening, because they experience these things during their first time in the airports (Tran, 2016). All these checkpoints are unique because they have large volumes of items and people that flow through the standard procedures, methodologies for screening, and prohibited threats to search.

The industry also faces the challenge of the passenger experience. As the number of passengers increases, there is pressure, which amounts to the process of checkpoint screening to make it easier and fast (Tran, 2016). Thus, all the negative attitudes and feelings, which the passengers could hold towards the aviation process of screening, need immediate address. Moreover, the views and perspectives, which customers may have in relation to the airport security system, determine whether they are likely to use the service of the airport or not in the future. Hence, the aviation department has a role to play in ensuring that clients are always satisfied with the type of services, which are provided to them by the staff members.

Daily operations of the aviation industry provide an additional challenge. The organizations have to worry about efficiency and effectiveness of their performance and be compliant with the regulations of the government. Thus, a great cooperation has to be established between airport operators, airlines, manufacturers of equipment, and regulators. These should go along with proper training of the staff members to ensure that they are able to comprehend the aviation security measures, which exist and established (Tran, 2016). Further, the staff should depict higher levels of proficiency in using the equipment and tools of ensuring that there is maximum security provided in the airports.

The introduction of the full-body scanners is faced with significant controversy. As such, majority of the passengers are reluctant to comply with the requests by the security officers. The outcome of this is the delay in the checkpoints and unwanted conflicts, which develop between the travelers and the security agents on body scanning methods. When a passenger refuses to be scanned, the airport authority reserves the right of denying such an individual the privilege to fly. Moreover, the body scanning technology for the passengers tends to slow down the process. Hence, there is a need to have a balance between viability and security of the business.

The interviewee also indicated that safety in the air is something of critical concern in the aviation industry. There are several reported crashes of the planes. Thus, the high crash-rates pose a significant challenge on the security division (Holmes, 2011). The airports are congested and the cockpit is automated, which prove that there is a great hazard in service delivery. The industry of aviation is also at the panic mode because of the scarcity of the staff to execute the functions of the security division. There are compulsory retirement ages, which are contributing to the shortage of labor in the aviation sector.

Education and Training Requirement

Transportation Security Officer (TSO) is required to undergo the relevant training and possess high school diploma or GED. An individual should have at least one year of experience in the security sector. Further, the potential candidate has to pass the alcohol and drug screening, aptitude test, fitness monitoring, and physical exams (Holmes, 2011). Such individuals should have good training and skills on verbal and written communication, which enable them to work in teams and public places. Furthermore, a person should have the capability of walking and standing for long hours without seeking any form of rest and ensuring that there is effective provision of the security services to the airports.

TSO officers need training on policy, customer service, procedure, and handling different emergency situations. It includes engaging in the x-ray technology program, since at times, in their job roles, they may be required to use the x-rays. The x-ray course provides knowledge and skills on protection, safety, and production of the x-rays (Holmes, 2011). These officers should also pass the TSA certification exams, which indicate that individuals are aware and understand how to use the screening equipment for baggage and learners as well as procedures and policies. A person gains these skills through participation in on-job training. Such training helps an individual to gain experience and skills of executing the assigned job roles and tasks with a lot of confidence and high-level of efficiency.

Security officers should also get training on analysis, gathering, treating, and recognizing of security and intelligence threats. They include understanding the various security regulations and laws, emergency preparedness, security management, international and domestic terrorism, and prevention and assessment strategies for security (Holmes, 2011). The education of the security officer has to be related to fields in security including criminal justice among others. Further, a person should have accurate report writing and presentation skills. They include balancing the security needs and customer service. The essence is to ensure that customers obtain the best services in society. There is also a need to have excellent management skills for conflict, which individuals can face while in line of duties. Moreover, a person should have the ability to juggle more with different security issues in society.


The entire global aviation industry is truly intricate and relies on its effective and secure functionality. Thus, this industry has to establish its unique ways of recognizing the activities, which are suspicious, latest threats, and evolving concealment techniques. Regular improvement and amending of the security checkpoints, network systems, and internal processes is needed to ensure effective functionality. Routine training of the staff ensures that the personnel functions at its best and has security controls. A balance has to exist between safety of staff and passengers as well as the operational efficiency.

Airport security department is a vital division, which determines the achievement of smooth running and functionality of the entire aviation industry. As such, resources have to be allocated to ensure that there is high level of security for the passengers and the baggage as well as the machines, which aid in the attainment of smooth flow of activities. Unfortunately, this division is coupled with several challenges, which limit its ability to deliver quality services to the people. These challenges could even make the public members develop a negative attitude and perspective on the aviation industry. The outcome of this aspect would be a loss of business. Thus, the management team in the security department has to focus on creating, restoring, and maintaining public confidence on the state of their security, as they are using the different services. There are training and education requirements, which individuals focusing on joining the department should have. These regulations and requirements assist in ensuring that there are no cases of having incompetent people who cannot deliver, execute, or implement the various functions of the airport security department. Thus, the department prides in having a strong human resource base, which facilitates in its growth and expansion within the competitive market environment.


Department of Civil Aviation. (2017). Aviation security. Retrieved on September 22, 2017 from

Holmes, M. (2011). National Security Behavioral Detection: A typography of strategies, costs, and benefits. Journal of Transportation Security, 4: 361.

Tran, V. (2016). Today's aviation security challenges. Retrieved on September 22, 2017 from

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