an unprecedented transformation

transforming security performance in an airport group

Our client, an airport group, wanted to transform its airport security. Several security failures had been identified, and we were engaged to radically overhaul the management of security, its procedures and improve performance.

our approach

We conducted a root cause analysis of the security function, looking at policy, operations and assurance failures. We started by creating an operating model which detailed the end-to-end approach of how the organisation creates policy, delivers training, plans and delivers the operation, and conducts quality assurance to identify vulnerabilities.

We then created a joint project team, consisting of our consultants and managers across the group. We used the new operating model to design, build, test and run over 100 initiatives to create new sustainable changes to infrastructure, working procedures and governance.

our insights

Policy realism – In regulated industries, internal policies must establish how the operation will be compliant with regulation, and ensure productive, efficient ways of working. This means that policy needs to demonstrate how theory becomes reality.

Removing complexity – When there are a 100 things to fix, it can be difficult to know where to start. The trick is showing how these components link together and work within the system. Working through the levers and drivers of the operating model helps prioritise the order of change.

Realism – When the transformation task is enormous, there is a natural desire to rush. This can lead to over-optimism that transformation can be achieved quickly or, conversely, the fear that change cannot be achieved. Sometimes it simply takes time, patience and persistence in continual reinforcement to eradicate bad habits.

the results

We delivered the project on time over 18 months and provided the regulator with evidence of improved performance. The airport group subsequently demonstrated significant changes in its compliance performance, with one regulator commenting that “the transformation of security performance was unprecedented”. We also improved passenger screening processing rates by 20% and established a three-year programme to adapt the security arrangements in line with future changes to regulation.