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Legal, Regulatory and Technical Responses to Terrorism in the Aviation Industry in Kenya

Edna Nyatichi Omweno


The impact of terrorists’ acts against the civil aviation industry cannot be gainsaid. It exerts immense pressure on the national and
human security of many nations. Regrettably, there has been a barrage of terrorist attacks against aircraft and airport installations
since the dawn of powered passenger flight. The study sought to examine the legal, regulatory and Technical responses to terrorism
in the aviation industry in Kenya and employed the exploratory research design. Secondary data was collected from government
publications, websites, internal records and reports, conference proceedings, research articles, and books, among others. The data
collected were analysed thematically. From the study finding, it is evident that aviation security became a challenge, especially in
the 1960s following an increase in the number of terrorist attacks in the industry. ICAO’s legal, regulatory and technical responses
through international conventions and protocols to address the challenge were reactionary especially in the period before the 9/11
US attacks. A review of their ineffectiveness called for responses that were more proactive and preventive, as a better solution in
mitigating terrorism in the industry. This called for the need for cooperation among various security supporting agencies in many
states’ aviation industries. Presently, there are extensive counterterrorism responses employed in Kenya. These include legal,
regulatory, and technical multiagency responses frameworks. Based on the study findings, the study makes the following
recommendations. First and foremost, there is a need to undertake training for security personnel to better implement the legal,
regulatory, and technical responses. There should also be an effort to strengthen the capacities of agencies to better respond to
terrorism threats in the aviation industry through legislation, training, and funding interventions.