By Eric Schouten, CEO and founder of Dyami security intelligence services
3 September 2023
In the ever-evolving world of aviation, the safety and security of passengers, crew, and aircraft assets remain paramount. In recent years, with an uptick in global political unrest, emerging conflict zones, and unpredictable geopolitical events, the significance of comprehensive risk assessments for aircraft overflight and destinations has grown manifold.
The tragic incidents of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, downed by an Iranian missile in 2020, followed by the unfortunate loss of several aircraft in Sudan in 2023, underscore the profound and immediate necessity for rigorous risk assessments in the aviation sector. These disasters serve as grim reminders that the geopolitical landscape is fraught with unexpected dangers, many of which can have dire implications for civilian air travel. An aircraft, when viewed as an asset, holds significant financial value, but the invaluable lives it carries elevates the stakes immeasurably higher. Risk assessments, when done meticulously, offer a proactive approach to identifying and navigating potential conflict zones, political tensions, and other volatile situations. Beyond mere compliance or operational efficiency, these evaluations are paramount for the safety of passengers and crew, and for upholding the trust millions place in the aviation industry every day.
For aircraft operators, charters, and airlines, the stakes are high, making it essential to invest in proper risk assessments. Here's why:
1. Navigating the Geopolitical Maze: The last decade has seen a surge in political upheavals, territorial disputes, and armed conflicts. These often create no-fly zones or areas of restricted movement. By routinely conducting risk assessments, operators can stay abreast of rapidly changing geopolitical conditions and adjust routes promptly, ensuring safety and compliance with international aviation norms.
2. Protecting Assets and Reputation: An aircraft inadvertently flying into an active conflict zone or area of political unrest risks asset damage, ranging from minor to catastrophic. Moreover, any incident, however small, can severely damage an airline's reputation, potentially leading to a loss in customer trust and future business.
3. Financial Considerations: Diverting flights due to unforeseen risks can be a costly affair. By proactively identifying and mitigating risks, operators can avoid unplanned rerouting expenses. Moreover, airlines may also face higher insurance premiums if they are perceived as high-risk by underwriters due to inadequate risk management practices.
4. Ensuring Passenger and Crew Confidence: Safety is a primary concern for passengers and crew. Demonstrating a robust commitment to risk assessment and safety procedures reassures passengers and crew of their safety, fostering loyalty and trust in the airline's operations.
5. Legal and Regulatory Implications: The aviation industry is stringently regulated. Failure to adhere to safety norms and regulations, especially in international airspace, can lead to hefty fines and legal consequences. Regular risk assessments ensure that operators are always compliant, avoiding potential legal pitfalls.
6. Staying Ahead with Proactive Planning: In the volatile world of geopolitics, situations can change overnight. Operators armed with comprehensive, up-to-date risk assessments are better prepared to make quick decisions, adapt to new information, and minimize disruptions.
In conclusion, the need for thorough risk assessments in aviation is more pressing than ever. The dynamic geopolitical landscape demands a proactive, well-informed approach. For aircraft operators, charters, and airlines, this is not just about compliance—it's about safeguarding passengers, protecting assets, and securing a place of trust and reliability in a complex, interconnected world. Investing in proper risk assessments today is an investment in a safer, more assured tomorrow.
Peace of mind
Dyami offers a comprehensive One-Stop Aviation Security Solution to assist aviation security officers and dispatchers in enhancing their capabilities and capacity, streamlining operations, and bolstering security measures. Our solution aims to provide an affordable holistic approach to security risk management that results in more secure and efficient airline or charter operations. Visit dyami aviation for more information.
About the author
Eric Schouten worked as an aviation intelligence officer at the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service - AIVD. After a career of 13 years, he left with the aim of offering unique bespoke security & intelligence services to the aviation sector.
Eric believes in collaboration and bringing expertise together. After his experiences with the attacks in New York during 9/11, espionage cases, and various terrorist plots and attacks, including the disaster with flight MH17, he established Dyami to ensure that security & intelligence services are made available in an accessible and cost-effective manner.