What is AVSEC?

AVSEC stands for "aviation security." When aviation professionals discuss AVSEC, they commonly refer to activities, policies and procedures relating to airport and airline operations. These activities revolve around:

  • Passenger screening and observation (in airport or aboard aircraft);
  • Checked luggage;
  • Airport and aircraft access;
  • Airport worker screening and monitoring; and
  • Managing identity cards for restricted access areas.

How is AVSEC Data Managed?

AVSEC programs are highly process driven. Training and auditing are two important activities to ensure processes are consistently exercised throughout the organization or system of airports. ICAO offers AVSEC training to support development, maintenance and oversight of airline and airport AVSEC programs.

A considerable number of AVSEC activities are "hands-on" or manual processes, such as screening passengers and their carry-on luggage. There may be requirements for random checks and more in-depth screening. Screening activities are documented using either:

  • Paper forms;
  • In-house developed spreadsheets; 
  • Mobile apps feeding centralized AVSEC databases; or
  • Custom aviation security management systems (SeMS).

Other activities require considerably more sophisticated documentation processes, such as:

  • Conducting airline and airport employee background checks;
  • Managing initial and recurring AVSEC training requirements; and
  • Reporting security events and tracking corrective and preventive actions.

These complex, process-driven activities need to be managed properly to ensure:

  • Auditors can review and provide oversight;
  • Employees are performing their security-related tasks according to design; and
  • Important, multi-step processes are not overlooked or intentionally skipped.