On the cards in Dubai — an MSc in Aviation Security

DUBAI — Security personnel working in the aviation industry are all set to upgrade their skills with the launch of a new programme being designed by the Emirates Aviation College and government authorities in Dubai.

By Afshan Ahmed

Published: Tue 10 Aug 2010, 9:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:07 AM

An MSc in Aviation Security, being put together by the college along with the Dubai Police, the General Civil Aviation Authority and UK-based Coventry University, is expected to start in January 2011.

The programme will equip security officials involved in aircraft, airport and cargo security and transportation of dangerous goods, with the latest security measures and will enhance their efficiency. The focus will be on managing security issues and equipment at airports.

The average monthly passenger traffic at the Dubai International Airport in the first half of this year stood at 3.7 million with a daily average passenger traffic being 123,000. The UAE is also the Middle East’s largest international transit hub.

With the country hosting some of the fastest growing airports, aviation security and global cooperation against violators is a constant focus of discussion in the UAE.

To achieve international standards, the personnel must be ready to implement the security procedures that have been put in place over the past couple of years and at the same time ensure minimum delays or discomfort to passengers, said Dr Ahmad Al Ali, Vice Chancellor of the Emirates Aviation College.

“Countries and passengers are facing several errors and delays, security wise,” he told Khaleej Times, explaining the objective of the programme.

“It is understandable that with huge traffic witnessed by the airports, there are numerous screening processes that need to be undertaken.”

At the Regional Civil Aviation Security Conference held in Abu Dhabi in June, Janet Napolitano, the US secretary of homeland security, mentioned the mounting security concerns in the context of a failed attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to bomb a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in December 2009.

She called for enhanced international cooperation on technological development and information sharing and stronger security measures and standards to identify threats and ensure passenger safety.

Al Ali said there is a big demand for specialised individuals who can manage security expectations.

The programme will not be open to the general public and will be offered to those already involved in aviation security.

“It is being carefully put together by specialists from the authorities,” Al Ali said.

“Because of the sensitivity of the course content that will be shared with the students it will not be offered to everyone, and every individual will be subjected to intensive background checks by Dubai Police and the aviation authority for eligibility.”

Programmes on aviation security are offered by a few other organisations, including the Centre of Aviation and Security Studies (CASS), a part of Emirates’ Group Security Department.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also offers diplomas in security management and operations with classroom courses that are customised and delivered on site for aviation-related organisations.


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