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Kansas City International Airport Security Plan


Kansas City International (KCI) Airport Security Plan is a concise review of the airport security makeup that ensures public safety, property protection, and the fight against terrorism. Airport security is critical and paramount for the public’s welfare and the entire nation. There is a great need for security agents in all “concentric layers of security” to strive for maximum effectiveness (Forrest & Price, 2016). This is because criminals and terrorists continuously develop and adopt new methods to breach aviation security regardless of the number of security layers.

The plan’s main objective is to develop a program that assures airports system security. KCI security plan has a specified objective to evaluate security protocols employed by the airport’s management to ensure public safety and safe travels. The security plan utilizes data and information from KCI official website, internet journals, blogs, and peer-reviewed articles concerning airport security. It’s a plan that describes KCI’s organizational structure, operating environment, current security conditions, and existing security practices and capabilities. Again the plan describes terminal security challenges and modification proposals to strengthen airports security approach. It is a significant evaluation because it will improve collaboration, employee assistance, and risk awareness and reaction. Again, it will strengthen monitoring and performance measurement in airport security.

1.0 Introduction to Airport Security System

An airport security plan is a well-outlined program that defines the steps to secure airlines, travelers, workers, flights, and assets against criminal and terrorist attacks. Airport security issues were limited to traditional crimes connected with other forms of transportation, including vandalism or property destruction, trespassing, aggravated assault, robbery, and facilities damage (Ghobrial & Fleming, 1994). Airports have also been subjected to various crimes, including terrorism, hijacking, sabotage of targets in the air and on the ground, and overt acts of hostility, since the late 1960s. Airports should establish, execute, and maintain a system security strategy to safeguard passengers, workers, airlines, aircraft, and property. The strategy should serve as a thorough guide for developing and implementing a defense-in-depth program for the airport system. Enhanced security must be achieved via a system approach, with both proactive and law enforcement efforts explicitly specified in the strategy.

Airport security has been critical since the 1960s that called for a response from international bodies. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) organized meetings in response to security checks at airports and created International Conventions on Civil Aviation Security (Ghobrial & Fleming, 1994). These delegations include The Tokyo Convention, the Montreal Convention, and the Hague Convention. ICAO published a set of guidelines and regulatory standards in 1974. The report is named “Standards and Recommended Practices- Security-Protecting Civil Aviation from Unlawful Interference. Again the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formed a Task Force on Air Piracy Deterrence in 1969. And published notices of proposed rule-making in 1971 for the historical modifications to airport and airline security procedures. According to FAA’s notices, airport operators are responsible for securing security against illegal access to air operations zones. The second statement proposed and required every planned carrier to adopt and implement a security plan to prevent or discourage the transport of sabotage aboard aircraft (1994).

1.1 Significance of Airport Security Plan

Security at the airport is paramount and can include formulating a security strategy or the execution of quality standards, such as the use of the Airport Watch Program. Airport security plan works to keep threats and possibly harmful situations from invading the airport or a country. If airport security is successful, the likelihood of any harmful scenario, illegal products, or threats infiltrating an airline, nation, or airport is considerably minimized. There is a great need for security agents in all “concentric layers of security” to strive for maximum effectiveness (Forrest & Price, 2016). This is because criminals and terrorists continuously develop and adopt new methods to breach aviation security regardless of the number of security layers. Despite the numerous improvements implemented to improve aviation security globally and after the September attack on aircraft on September 11, 2001, in the US, criminals and terrorists will strive to push for continuous disruption of the global aviation system (2016). Therefore, the security plan’s goal is to assist ICAO, states, and airport stakeholders in improving the efficacy of global airline security. It will improve collaboration and employee assistance, and risk awareness and reaction. Again, it will strengthen monitoring and performance measurement in airport security.

1.2 Goals, Objectives, and Tasks of the Plan

The plan’s main objective is to develop a program that assures airports system security. A plan’s goal will be to evaluate security approaches used by the Kansas City international airport against criminal activities with as much cost-effectiveness as possible. The plan intends to describe KCI airport security makeup and all the protocols to be observed to assure passenger safety in traveling. The plan will help protect aircraft, passengers, and crew while supporting counter-terrorism policies and national security. Finally, the plan identifies security rankings and allocation in the airport from any potentially dangerous incidents to reassure travelers that they are safe and protect the country and its people.

1.3 Scope of the Plan

The plan is developed at Kansas City International Airport by evaluating the airline’s security organization structure, management makeup, insecurity response protocols and security conditions, and airport security strategies. The data and information is collected from the internet sources like the airline’s official website, affiliated websites, customer reviews, blogs, and social media. The plan outlines the relevant security information of KCI and evaluates its effectiveness towards the protection of the passengers, staff, property, and the country.

2.0 Description of the Kansas City International Airport

Kansas City international airport is a public airline located in the northwestern part of downtown Kansas City in Missouri. The airport is located in a 10,680-acre piece of land and is operated by the Kansas City Aviation Department. It has serves the Kansas City metropolitan area. The airport has several terminals and checkpoints and three operational runways. It’s a civilian airport located in Platte county of Missouri but has faced challenges in maintaining terminals and runways. The facility is a commercial facility, with no Air National Guard units stationed there. In December 2018, there were 170 peak-day planned aircraft departures, but the service was available at 47 airports. Despite efforts to improve the runway floor to improve braking performance, the Airline Pilots Association reported that many commercial pilots “blacklisted” the airport. This led to the need to improve facilities security, terminal coordination and timing, and security in the airport

2.1 Organizational Structure

The airport is owned and operated under the Kansas City Aviation Department, overseen by the Director of Aviation, Patrick Klein. The department’s mission is to coordinate operations within the operating environment and subsequent departments. The department is geared towards ensuring that the airport cost-effectively provides safe and secure services for its clients, staff, airlines, citizen, and visitors (Poole, 2015). It’s a department funded by the user charges hence called an enterprise fund department. However, there are no general tax fund revenues used for the marketing, administration, affiliation, maintenance, or operation of the airport system

2.2 Operating Environment

The security system is broken down hierarchically through departmentation that works jointly to assure safety within the airport environment;

2.2.1 Accounting/Central Stores Division

It is a department involved in financial security and maintenance of monetary paperwork. The department ensures that all transactions are safe and any financial complaints are handled ethically and in a customer-satisfying manner (KC Aviation Department, 2022). The accounting division stores all day-to-day money transactions and prepares statements on completed transactions while filing reports to the higher departments.

2.2.2 Administration division.

It is a department chaired by the Director of Aviation, Patrick Klein, who oversees the smooth flow of operations within the airport. It offers performance and administrative control to the Aviation Department so that citizens, passengers, airlines, and other customers may benefit from a secure, exceptional airport via creativity, cooperation, and continual development (KC Aviation Department, 2022). The department safely manages Kansas City International Airport’s long-term strategy, financial, and staffing needs. It prepares reports follows up on security updates, planning papers, and other statutory obligations for the Kansas City, Missouri, state administration. The department is also accountable for the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security when needed.

2.2.3 Airport Police Division

It protects and serves all individuals and property under the Kansas City International Airport’s authority. Through attentive and polite engagement, the airport police provide fast direction and support to the requirements of the general public and airport operators (KC Aviation Department, 2022). Again, through competent guidance and enforcement, the department ensures traffic safe and orderly circulation within the airport premises. The ID Office provides authentication and authorization services to all airport workers and tenants. All taxi and limousine services are governed by police law (2022). The police division also facilitates the security of passenger flow within the terminal and ensures continuous movement without overcrowding. The Airport Communications Center within the department meets extra informational and security demands for airport users, tenants, and staff.

2.2.4 Field Maintenance Division

The Aviation Department’s Field Maintenance Division is in charge of surveillance security cameras and authorization components, audio communication, radio messaging equipment, security gate control, and functionality, airfield lighting and signs, commercial electrical distribution devices, and asphaltic concrete repairs (KC Aviation Department, 2022). During an emergency, the Field Maintenance Division, in collaboration with the Activities Division, is in charge of all airfield snow clearing operations to guarantee landing safety. Again, responsible for the upkeep, restorations, and building of airport terminal exterior design, airfields, roadways, exterior lighting, road markings, informational and regulatory signs, scenery, and stormwater drainage.

2.3 Current Security Conditions

KCI is among five airports where the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) experimented with effective security by affiliating independent contractors to screen travelers following complaints of insecurity in the past years. The airport contracts AKAL Security, an independent security agency that follows TSA recruitment and selection guidelines, to screen passengers and carry-on baggage within the premises. Although the TSA oversees these contract agencies, they are not government employees. Again, according to Miller (2014), to improve logistics and movement security, a $258 million terminal refurbishment was completed in November 2004 (2014). Among the enhancements were increased structural bay sizes to allow greater spaces for entryways, catering, shops, and public seating areas, as well as additional washroom amenities within security.

2.3.1 Security of Passengers from Auto Parking/Ground Access Points to Terminal

KCI offers a convenient movement of people from the parking areas to the waiting bays. There is a thorough checking and security screening at designated checkpoints within the facility. The airport offers varied parking options to meet the convenience and safety of the passengers. The Parking Fee Estimator offers fee calculating components for passengers and safe transactions before one parks their cars. The actual costs are varied depending on the time for departures and arrival. Again the facility has relocated its Taxicab facility, Cellphone Waiting Lot, and bus/limo/rideshare lot to 680 Brasilia Ave. It’s a new location with better amenities, tighter Security, CCTV surveillance, and a 45minutes maximum waiting time.

2.4 Security Procedures and Communications

Airport operators in general aviation create documented security protocols. Many of these security procedures are currently in place at airports, but they have not yet been institutionalized into a written program. The documentation gives management a transparent and auditable way to ensure airport staff and tenants can know security requirements. A protocol of this type should include airport and local authorities’ contact information, including alternative options when unavailable. Again it should embed a program to raise airport user awareness of safety precautions, such as airport watch programs. Since security procedures may contain sensitive information, the airport operator should restrict their access to the maximum practicable extent while adhering to county, state, or federal legislation and airport-established regulations.

2.5 Existing Security Capabilities and Practices

In recent years the facility has developed security time waits for that help in safety coordination and are governed by the TSA. There are various new computerized displays at MCI Airport that enhance security procedures for travelers (, 2022). It also helps to lessen their time spent waiting in queues and waiting bays. Passengers must be at the airport at least 2 hours before their scheduled departure time to minimize any disruption and overcrowding that affect the security of passengers. However, d despite the absence of clarity at the terminals because of the size of KCI’s terminals, the airport nevertheless has a short TSA wait time. One will also feel calmer and at ease if you have accurate information about security checkpoints’ wait times (, 2022). Passengers may spend their spare time with their children or have their favorite cuisine at the airport between security inspections. Again, visitors can purchase some necessary items for the trip within the security checking areas.

2.6 Terminal security challenges

Kansas City International Airport is split into 3 terminals, A, B, and C, with 66 accessible gates. However, just 30 gates are required to serve MCI’s 4.9 million leaving passengers each year (Miller, 2014). The current security requirements were unanticipated when MCI was established in 1972. The terminal space behind security checkpoints is small and unconnected, providing travelers with minimal concession and comfort options once they pass through security screening. The three-terminal strategy generates isolated safe regions that need several security checks, calling for more safety costs. As a major TWA hub in 1972, the airport’s initial architectural intentions resulted in the terminals’ decentralized form and a large overabundance of gates (2014). This terminal construction aimed to reduce the distance visitors had to go from their vehicles to the gate.

2.7 KCI’s security modification proposals

However, because of increased security needs in the aviation industry, MCI’s design is considered obsolete considering the lack of a post-security check area. The Kansas City Aviation Department (KCAD) has facilitated gradual repairs to the terminals over the years and a $258 million renovation project from 2001 to 2004 (Miller, 2014). KCAD claims that the present terminal construction has outlived its useful life and that new environmental, security, and aviation operations requirements make its ongoing use economically unviable. The Aviation Department has suggested a new, unitary terminal to replace Terminal A. Officials claim that designing and building a modern terminal will be less expensive than making gradual repairs to the original terminals. This claim assumes that constructing one terminal will be more cost-effective and safe than making incremental repairs on the existing 3-terminals. This is because the new facility will lower security and maintenance costs and generate new revenue from food and retail outlets sales.


Forrest, J., & Price, J. (2016). Practical aviation security: predicting and preventing future threats. Butterworth-Heinemann.

KC Aviation Department. (2022). KC Aviation Department. The Official Website of Kansas City International Airport | MCI. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from (2022). TSA Security Wait Times. Kansas City Security Wait Times | MCI checkpoint delays. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from

Ghobrial, A., & Fleming, K. (1994). A Model for Developing an Airport Security Plan. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research4(2), 1.


Poole, R. W. (2015). Cost-effective airport security policy. Securing transportation systems, 205.


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