Acts of violence against civil aviation: historical survey, perspectives and responses
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Acts of violence involving civilian aircraft and airline facilities, as well as air travellers have been exploited by terrorist and others since 1931. This form of international terrorism is more than an attack on the rights of the innocent and rule of law. It constitutes a great threat to global peace. Although such attacks represent a small percentage of total terrorist incidents, it is clear that acts of violence directed at civil aviation are not limited by geographical or political boundaries. As escalating threats to civil aviation have caused great concern to the international community without regional exception, governments have introduced security measures against such attacks. The deterrent or diversionary effect of tight security programmes have been reflected in a perceptible shift of terrorist attention to easy targets and other forms of attack. However, governments and the civil aviation industry have failed to keep ahead of changing threats. They upgraded their security capabilities to tackle only the known methods of terrorist attacks. This short-sighted approach is the most serious concern for the safety of civil aviation. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that both the nature and the level of the security threat change frequently and must be monitored constantly in order to foresee possible danger and to consider how to cope with such threats. The international community must not allow the perpetrators of aviation terrorism to get so far ahead of the world's aviation security system. To achieve this aim, aviation authorities must develop long term plans to tackle terrorist activities against civil aviation. This will be a monumental task. However, where there is a will, there is a way.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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