Air Cargo Operations and Security

Topic: Logistics
Words: 2362 Pages: 8


Over the years, air travel has helped to support the world economy. When contrasting the contribution of other companies to the global GDP, the aviation industry outperforms others like the automotive and pharmaceutical industries (Zhou et al., 2020). Staff members who directly or indirectly use their income to buy products and services have retained the millions of dollars-induced global GDP influence. Air cargo alludes to a complex network with many facets that transports large packages, mail, and all-cargo aircraft. Due to the country’s 26.2 percent share of goods entering and leaving the country, the USA is an essential link in many supply chains (Zhou et al., 2020). According to some economic experts, global trade has contributed twice as much to GDP over the years, leaving the global economy overly dependent on it. This paper will discuss air cargo operations and security features in general while discussing airport security and challenges in California.

Overview of Airport Operations

The aviation sector depends heavily on airports. The two main kinds of operations that airports do are airside and landside (Zhou et al., 2020). For airside operations, the staff ensures everything runs well, including watching over the airfield, ramping, and monitoring and maintaining the airport’s security (Zhou et al., 2020). In contrast, landside operations involve keeping an eye on the airport’s terminals, runways, concourses, and other infrastructure. Landside operations carry out regular tasks at the docks and parking decks and deal with airport safety, much like airside operations. A terminal operation is a great illustration of landside activities (Zhou et al., 2020). To satisfy consumer expectations and other obligations like ensuring security, an airport must have competent staff in every sector. A typical example of staff working in airports is a team of individuals with various talents and backgrounds, including pilots, ground handlers, flight attendants, hostesses, engineers, economists, and hoteliers.

A managing director is an airport’s senior leader, in terms of leadership theory, and oversees daily operations (Zhou et al., 2020). A managing director should be very competent in various fields, including business administration, economics, mathematics, engineering, public history, and relations, for the smooth operation of airport operations. A manager may make well-rounded executive judgments by having these talents (Zhou et al., 2020). Most judgments concern applying the established aviation laws’ norms and regulations.

Ground Handling – Challenges Facing Facility Security

The services provided before and following an aircraft’s landing are referred to as ground handling. Removing human waste from the aircraft and unloading and servicing the cargo are just a few examples of the services provided (Graham & Morrell, 2019). An airport may provide such services, or one may contract with other service providers. The obstacles that ground handling encounters include airport security, as previously stated.

There is a serious worry about the rise in ground-handling accidents. The aviation sector must now address this issue (Graham & Morrell, 2019). Accidents involving ground handling damage products, harm planes, and hurt employees. Increment in the number of airside vehicles will improve delivery and safety while reducing operational disturbance. Creating a safety culture will involve cooperation and teamwork from various ground-handling teams if this endeavor succeeds (Graham & Morrell, 2019). The airport security will be maximized by using an acceptable safety management system.

Another frequent issue for ground handlers and overall airport administration is plane traffic. The resources and facilities at the airport are overtaxed due to the growing airport congestion (Graham & Morrell, 2019). Automation of terminals is one of the affordable solutions to this problem. Although it is expensive to invest in new technologies, the airport will gain long-term security advantages.

The ground handlers face a significant task in training. Airports are adopting new technology and automated processes to serve their customers better. These changes alter the nature of ground handling, necessitating further training for ground handlers to use new technology (Graham & Morrell, 2019). Unfortunately, high training expenses prevent ground handlers from using such devices.

The last major problem for ground handlers is sustainability. IATA estimates that the aviation sector will grow fleet capacity by around 5.7 percent, increasing the load by nearly 81.4%. (Graham & Morrell, 2019). The efficiency of ground operators to ensure the fleet’s safety, passengers, cargo, and airport staff is called into question by such frightening expansion. There isn’t yet a viable option for ground handlers to deal with this.

Government Oversight on the Air Cargo Security

Government monitoring of cargo security tries to prevent in-flight explosives and terrorist hijacking of cargo airplanes to use weapons against densely populated regions and vital infrastructure. The government also aims to prevent any hazards brought on by the probable smuggling of radioactive, biological, and chemical materials into American territory for WMDs (Everycrsreport, 2019). In light of this, the government uses various methods to control cargo security.

To increase security measures, the government first repeals current legislation to find security gaps (Everycrsreport, 2019). After September 11, 2001, the government increased its alertness to handle possible security risks by enhancing control and supervision procedures for both cargo and passengers. Legislators frequently revise the current security protocols and regulations. There are several instances where the government changed the regulations or tried to make the cargo security procedures more effective.

A great example of increasing air cargo security is the Transportation Act of 2007, which mandates that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check every piece of cargo that is carried into an aircraft (Everycrsreport, 2019). The main issue when the government passed this regulation was the size of American Airlines’ fleet and the antiquated procedures for inspecting air cargo. TSA has to design and implement innovative solutions to boost effectiveness, decrease screening costs and time, and maintain a thriving economy simultaneously.

Congress and the Homeland Security Department developed solutions to assist TSA in completing air cargo screening operations more innovatively and creatively. One method to boost business flexibility and meet 100% air cargo screening requirements is to expand the Certified Cargo Security Program (Everycrsreport, 2019). The general public should also be educated about aviation security to grasp the many security hazards better. In order to stop terrorist plans from attacking aircraft and ground targets, it was also advised to promote cooperation among pertinent airport stakeholders, including such airline staff and air traffic management personnel. Legislators argued whether Aviation Cargo Enhanced Screening equipment should assist in recognizing cargo that needs more inspection and whether to make it required for an aggressive physical inspection in response to developments in passenger protection against bombs in aviation cargo.

Economic Impact

The aviation industry largely fuels the global economy and globalization. This company supports several businesses, including tourism, by linking destinations worldwide (Valavanis & Vachtsevanos, 2021). Due to its speed and safety, international passengers prefer air travel over other means of transportation. Because air travel costs are down, both the airline and tourism industries are growing rapidly. The tourism industry supports some countries’ economies, which gives the government most of its income (Valavanis & Vachtsevanos, 2021). This enables these countries to make advances in their infrastructure.

Additionally, it supports the company’s expansion in the world market. International businesspeople use air travel to select locations for negotiations with other international partners on where to locate their companies. Additionally, the aviation industry fosters the growth of international businesses that deal in perishable goods like fresh produce and flowers (Valavanis & Vachtsevanos, 2021). Such possibilities cannot be found without air travel.

Additionally, the sector generates employment opportunities. Aviation is major employment in many countries for professionals, including flight attendants, pilots, security guards, and cargo management officers (Valavanis & Vachtsevanos, 2021). Therefore, it aids in reducing unemployment in economies. Additionally, this lessens societal problems like the rise in poverty-related crimes brought on by a lack of employment opportunities and income sources (Valavanis & Vachtsevanos, 2021). Additionally, aviation brings in money for the government. These reasons ultimately demonstrate the importance of the aviation sector to an economy.

Airports Security & Challenges

Airport security is a delicate area that requires certain methods. To protect the security of travelers and passengers and threats to national security, airports must implement strong security measures (Rieger et al., 2021). In response to security concerns, passengers and their luggage must thoroughly inspect to remove any security threat. Airports have significant security issues while taking several precautions, such as adopting smart technology.

Terrorism on a global scale is a significant problem for airports. Since the tragic events of 9/11, the federal government and other governments have increased their efforts to shield citizens from terrorist operations and reduce their vulnerability to them (Rieger et al., 2021). The United States, in general, and specifically California state learned from the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

Terrorism remains a significant security threat in airports in California. Extremist groups like Al-Qaida and ISIL will continue to attack commercial and passenger aircraft as one of their key targets. For instance, terrorists may take over aircraft or participate in large-scale gun battles, endangering the lives of passengers, crew, and others. Some travelers may even carry bombs maliciously, such as inciting attacks on a nation’s important resources.

Another security issue that California state must deal with is insider risk. Airport employees may act as agents for terrorists and other criminals (Rieger et al., 2021). For instance, such personnel could collaborate with smugglers to engage in the illegal transportation of illicit goods. These thieves frequently bribe the airport staff to get away with their crimes. Airports must instill good morals in their staff members and provide regular training on ethical compliance in response to this challenge. It is crucial to impose severe consequences on employees linked to such criminals.

Another serious airport security issue in California state is flight stoppage. For instance, intoxicated people may cause trouble by disobeying flight attendant orders in airports or on flights. Others could take part in disputes with their coworkers and airport officials that end in harm or even fatalities (Rieger et al., 2021). Strong compliance controls must be implemented for all visits to mitigate this problem.

Air Cargo Operations

The techniques needed to handle the goods and materials transported by air pertain to air freight operations. Cargo operations are a crucial business not only for the airline industry but for the whole global economy (Feng, Li, & Shen, 2020). Airports may oversee these operations or hire other companies to provide these services. A competent workforce, durable technology, outstanding leadership, and a suitable material handling infrastructure are required for the success of these services. A cargo operation is a process that starts at the owner’s cargo’s origin and ends at its destination (Feng, Li, & Shen, 2020). As a result, material handling has several phases before a shipment reaches its destination.

Several factors influence the formulation of strict guidelines for handling materials. Security is one of the main justifications for subjecting a cargo to various material handling procedures (Feng, Li, & Shen, 2020). For instance, screening goods using autonomous surveillance systems examines the products to prevent the movement of illegal goods across national borders. Additionally, such a system is intended to detect sensitive goods like weapons to stop them from falling into the hands of the wrong people, like terrorists (Feng, Li, & Shen, 2020). This explains why cargo handling at airports and coastlines needs attention. Similar illegal activities like smuggling goods to avoid paying taxes also motivate the adoption of such strict regulations. To boost productivity and address escalating problems, cargo departments must accept periodic updates to their material handling operations due to the quick development of new technologies.

Impact of Air Cargo Disruptions on the Supply Chain

Air travel is crucial in the growth of businesses and the world economy. Air travel is becoming a more popular alternative mode of transportation for businesses (Arvis et al., 2018). A disruption in air cargo significantly impacts almost all facets of the supply chain, given how air transport operates.

A delay in delivering goods from their place of origin to their destination is one direct effect of such a disruption. Several factors might result in a stoppage of air freight (Arvis et al., 2018). For instance, a delay brought on by adverse weather conditions can prevent the delivery of products on schedule. Other factors might include terrorist activities like hijacking aircraft with malicious intent (Arvis et al., 2018). Some delicate and extremely perishable products, including flowers and fresh milk, may go bad or lose value due to delays in the shipment of commodities.

Another factor that affects the supply chain is the financial effects. The financial impact is related to other factors, such as the supply’ delayed shipping (Arvis et al., 2018). The companies suffer financial losses if the products become old, which makes it more difficult for them to recover. Additionally, failing to contact customers promptly may lead businesses to lose market share and reduce profitability. The loss of trust in the brand as a result of the inability to uphold its promises to customers has a significant financial impact as well.

Additionally, product shortages have a direct impact on the supply chain. Shortages might disrupt the market’s balance and cause a significant price increase (Arvis et al., 2018). The main winners in this scenario are those who sell such goods. However, shortages may also cause businesses to charge more for their goods. Thus, this might hinder the growth and development of the economy.

The activities’ lack of security negatively impacts the supply chain. Because air travel is necessary for transporting military supplies to troops, cargo delays might cause a military shortage that jeopardizes the security of the nation (Arvis et al., 2018). This puts in danger business ventures that depend on security to survive. This explains why air freight interruptions have such a detrimental impact on the economy as a whole.


Air transportation is the most rapid method of moving freight; for instance, there is a significant distinction between rail and air transportation. Air travel makes it possible for a business to achieve a competitive edge over all of its rivals. A firm that handles the logistics of moving items from one location to another gives convenience and saves time. Despite its numerous difficulties, freight transportation should not be discouraged since it is essential.


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