Mandatory travel and vaccination policies in Saudi Arabia
Aviation security will continue to be under stress
Market Insight 14 December 2021 14 December 2021
Insurance 2022 - the year ahead
Uptick in security-related incidents likely to worsen in the upcoming year.
The ongoing pandemic and the increasingly divisive political environment are all likely to stress airline and airport security in the upcoming year. Available data paints a troubling picture of a trend that many hoped would end with the easing of pandemic-related travel restrictions. Unfortunately, the upward trend in security-related incidents has continued and is likely to only get worse in the upcoming year.
Following the onset of the pandemic-related travel restrictions, the Federal Aviation Administration reported a 500% increase in unruly passenger incidents in 2020. Although pandemic-related travel restrictions eased in 2021, and Congress toughened the civil and criminal penalties for this behavior, the number of investigations continued to increase. Similarly, the Transportation Security Administration reported that in 2020, the number of guns confiscated at checkpoints doubled. However, this number also substantially increased in 2021. This data suggests that in addition to pandemic-related frustrations, there is an underlying atmosphere of defiant opposition to government-imposed mandates.
The increasingly divisive political rhetoric and challenges to the legitimacy of governing parties around the world clearly factor into the notion that individuals have the right to ignore government-imposed rules that are intended to promote the wellbeing of all. Given the still uncertain course of the pandemic and the divisiveness that will surround the mid-term elections in the United States, it is believed that 2022 will unfortunately continue to see an increase in passenger-related security incidents in airports and on board aircraft in flight. While these incidents are primarily a government-related problem, insurers must continue to monitor these events closely since these incidents, particularly the more serious ones, almost always result in costly civil litigation and workers compensation-related claims.