Airport Access

Chapter – 7

Airport Access


Access Control is one of the most effective security measures used at an Airport. In this lesson, you will learn about the Access Control measures that are implemented at the Airport, along with the legal position on Airport Access.

Airport Access

The various access points at an airport are at:

  • Landside – Airside demarcation
  • Terminal Building

Legal Position

The Aircraft Rules 1937

Entry into public aerodromes-

  1. No person shall enter or be in the terminal building of any government aerodrome or public aerodrome or part of such building or any other area in such aerodrome notified in this behalf by the Central Government unless he holds an admission ticket issued by the aerodrome operator or an entry pass issued by the commissioner of Security (Civil Aviation) or any other officer authorized by him in this behalf.
  2. No person shall, without permission in writing, by general or special order, of the Central Government or any officer authorized in this behalf-
    •  Enter or remain or cause any other person to enter or remain in the Movement area
    •  Leave or throw or cause to be thrown any animal, bird or property or object of any nature whatsoever in the movement area
    •  Permit any animal under his possession or control or otherwise to stray in the Movement area
    •  Operate any vehicle in the Movement area.
  1. Sub-rules (1) and (2) shall not apply to-
      •  Any passenger embarking, disembarking or in transit who holds an air ticket 
      • Any person who is engaged on regular duty at an aerodrome and hold a Photo Identity Card issued by the Commissioner of Security (Civil Aviation) or any other officer authorized by the Central Government in this behalf. Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, the officer in-charge of an aerodrome or any other officer authorized by the Central Government in this behalf may, as the case may be, may if he is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do for the maintenance of proper order or decorum-
  2. Refuse admission to any person into the terminal building or the Movement area
  3. Require any person in such building or such area to leave the same.


Types of attacks that can occur at the Airport are:

  • Unlawful seizure of aircraft – Hijacking
  • Sabotage against aircraft
  • Sabotage against airport facilities
  • Attacks against fuel storage, air navigation

Some Incidents

  • Air crash in December 1987, killing 43 on board

Disgruntled ex-employee shot former boss and then the pilot. Bypassed access control either with invalid permit or through familiarity with guards and look weapon on board.

Incident may have been prevented by:

  • Effective access control
  • Ex-employees should surrender permit
  • Guards should not be too familiar with staff
  • All staff should be security screened


Purpose of Access Control Points

The purpose of Access Control Points is to control movement of people and vehicles from landside (Non-restricted) areas to a airside (restricted) areas.

Access points can be located:

  • Inside a building (e.g. terminal)
  • Along the airport boundary (e.g. entrance near terminal, or at cargo, maintenance areas, etc.)

Types of Access Control Systems

Access control systems can be:

  • Physical – Controlled by a security guard using access control equipment such as a turnstile for people and a drop-arm barrier for vehicles.
  • Automatic – Using electronic equipment such as a key card system.

Categories of People Requiring Legitimate Access

The categories of people requiring legitimate access area;

  • Airport employees
  • Airlie and agency employees
  • Employees of airport regulatory organizations(e.g., police/ customs/immigrations)
  • National government representatives
  • Diplomatic representatives
  • Visitors
  • Emergency services

Components ofAccess Control Points

Access Control Points will contain:

  • Control equipment – Manual or Automatic (for barriers/ gates/ turn styles)
  • Communications system – radio / telephone
  • Vehicle Search equipment – mirror / flashlight
  • Control point record book log book / Standard Operating Procedures
  • Other facilities – toilet
  • Equipment for operating barriers / turn styles and manual or automatic gates
  • Control point Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


Typical SOP for an Access Control Point for ASG

The Typical SOP for an Access Control Point for ASG is given below:

  • Security personnel on duty at an access control point must ensure that only authorized persons and embarking passengers, properly documented, are allowed access into an airport’s restricted and controlled area.
  • Security personnel shall check that all persons entering a controlled area are in possession of and displaying a valid airport identification permit.
  • Security staff shall also check that embarking passengers are in possession of valid travel documents including an airline boarding card, which indicates the airline flight and passenger details.
  • In the event that any person gains or attempts to gain unauthorized access to an airport restricted area, security personnel will endeavour to prevent such entry and will immediately notify the security supervisor.

Vehicular Access Point: Locations.

  • Vicinity of passenger terminal building
  • Entrance to VIP/ Cargo/ Maintenance areas.
  • Entrance to ATC tower and operations building
  • Vicinity of fuel storage areas
  • Entrance to air navigation facilities

Types of Passes

Access of people is controlled through documents/ passes:

The types of passes are:

  • Permanent pass
  • Temporary pass
  • Visitors pass
  • Paper pass
  • Token pass

Passes Prevalent at Airports

There are several types of passes generally prevalent at Airports

Permanent Pass

This pas is issued for the permanent employees of the agencies working at the airport and persons who require access to work at the airport for functional reasons.

These types of passes are generally photo passes and have some color coding to enable the ASG personnel posted at an Access Control Point to recognize that this person is authorized to enter that particular airport /place on that day or otherwise.

Colors of Airport Entry Permits (AEPs) and their Validity (Indian Airports)

  • Orange
  • Orange C
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Green C
  • Brown
  • White

These are the color codes that are available on the Airport entry Permits (AEPs), which are issued to the people requiring access to Airports;

Let us look at them in detail:

  • Orange and Orange C Valid for all areas of al Airports)
  • Purple (valid for all areas of designated Airports)
  • Navy Blue (valid for all areas of designated airports except Security Hold Areas)
  • Light Green (Commercial Pass valid in Arrival / Departure hall in Domestic Airport and Check -in Areas in departure Hall & Up to visitors lounge in Arrival Hall in International Terminal at designated airports.)
  • Light Green C (Pass issued to Courier Company Employees valid in Arrival/ Departure Hall in Domestic Airport and check – in areas in Departure Hall & Baggage Claim areas in Arrival Hall in International Terminal at designated airports)
  • Light Brown (Departure and Arrival Hall and Visitor’s areas at designated Airports)
  • White (Operational areas in the designated Airport)

The other documents acceptable for access to Airports are:

  • Ticket
  • E-Ticket

Vehicular Access is controlled by: Vehicle Permit

Typical Vehicle Permit must have the following components:

  • Registered number of vehicle
  • Name of organization / agency
  • Area of validity
  • Period of validity
  • Designated access gate to be used

Points to Note

While checking the validity of the AEP, pay attention to:

  • Photo of the holder
  • Area of validity
  • Date of validity
  • Seal of Genuineness
  • Name of the organization
  • Namne of the pass holder
  • Signature of the holder
  • Signature of the issuing authority
  • Place of validity


  • Airport Access
  • Access Controls at Airport