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MedAire Security Solutions – Asian Sky Quarterly 2021 Q4

by Global Sky Team

MedAire Security Solutions – Asian Sky Quarterly 2021 Q4

Asian Sky Media recently had the opportunity to talk with Hany Bakr, the Senior Vice President of Aviation and Maritime Security at MedAire. MedAire is an International SOS company that partners with airlines, business aviation, Government, and Defense entities, as well as other industry bodies to provide security intelligence, assessments, consulting, and assistance. In particular, MedAire’s Security Solutions focus on the aviation and maritime sectors. As Hany says, “We offer security health and medical risk management solutions that enable both sectors to operate safely and efficiently.”

Aviation Security Alerts

With its Security Solutions, MedAire mainly focuses on four categories. The first is its Aviation Security Alerts, which is a situational report that notifies subscribers when any incidents occur that could impact the safety or security of aviation operations. Such activities include, but are not limited to, military activity, missile testing, airspace closures, and more.

Aviation Travel Security Briefs (ATSB)

MedAire also offers Aviation Travel Security Briefs (ATSB). This is a specific airport security assessment that provides an overview of airport security, a summary of travel safety considerations such as crime or social unrest, certain airport security features as well as the availability of lodgings and medical facilities. For example, in MedAire’s Security Brief on Jackson Field International Airport in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, the brief includes details regarding the airport security standard, places to avoid, types of transportation based nearby,recommended lodgings, emergency medical care locations and vaccination requirements.

Airspace Assessments

MedAire also offers Airspace Assessments, which provide an overview of potential threats to airspace over, or in a particular country. As well as including an evaluation of aviation risks, it advises air carriers on certain weaponry types that are prevalent, powerful players in the region, and if there has been a history of attacks against any aviation installations. Furthermore, the assessment also provides geopolitical information, as well as how to mitigate exposure to threats and manage risks. MedAire’s Airspace Assessment on Afghanistan includes details on the Taliban takeover, history of attacks on airbases, weapons to look out for, and flight prohibitions over the region.

Go/No Go Flight Assessment

The final component features a Go/No Go Flight Assessment. Usually, these assessments are brief summary reports created with the intention for MedAire’s clients to make a flight operation decision. As such, these independent assessments are essential when determining whether to conduct a flight to a medium, high or extreme-risk location. Moreover, all the above-mentioned services are available to MedAire’s clients 24/7 and can be requested via phone, online portal, or email. Aside from the Security Solutions, MedAire also provides a tailored security advice to clients that need further support. According to Hany, “advice is itinerary specific and unique to each operators needs and requirements.” Last but not least is MedAire’s 24/7 security support. As Hany states, “we have over 2,000 vetted security service providers who can support clients globally in case they are in distress in any location across the world.”

Global Service

One aspect that makes MedAire stand out is its personnel and experts. With the International SOS group boasting 10,000 employees globally, MedAire has experts in every continent around the world. “We have a global network team and resources that provides reporting around the clock,” Hany explains. “We also have local network sources as well that we contract globally and we have association relationships with.” Aside from access to open-source data collection that enables analysts to collect information, MedAire also has an editorial team that vets and checks the quality of all reportings in order to ensure that it meets the appropriate reporting rigor expected from clients.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Hany believes MedAire’s people are the greatest asset of the organization. In his eyes, “our experts help drive our innovation through collaborative conversation with our clients, airlines, and others.” He further says, “together, between technology and human intelligence, we come up with solutions that are truly needed for the industry.” All in all, MedAire believes in investing in people, just as much as investing in technology.

Much like the rest of the aviation industry, MedAire was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as well. “Our call volumes dropped significantly so we went from 300 calls a day to a single-digit overnight,” Hany recalls. Through it all, MedAire continued to support clients with repatriation flights, in addition to providing more consulting services to help clients navigate through the pandemic. The company also adapted its training solutions to provide remote training over Zoom. “There is a lot of focus on training and upskilling because we knew that once aviation and travel rebounded there would be a serious need for skilled workers to be able to bring the industry back to where it was before,” Hany says. After borders started opening again, the company began to receive more ‘Fit to Fly’ assessments before departure. These assessments are mainly used to help airlines assess passengers in case there is any medical need prior to flight departures. “We noticed that increase, particularly from airlines that did not previously utilize that service,” Hany highlights. “We also saw clients requesting information on routine destinations because nothing was the same anymore.”

Aside from that, MedAire also took this time to design a completely new aviation security portal that digitizes its current static reporting along with new mapping capabilities. Other significant investments in digital innovation enables MedAire’s analysts to advise clients more efficiently, to include visualization tools for enhanced  user  interface and experience. Moreover, the company has further enhanced its aviation security personnel – in fact, currently underway is a recruitment campaign in MedAire’s Dubai Regional Security Center. Despite the challenges, Hany is incredibly proud of MedAire’s achievements. “We’ve turned challenges into opportunities to ensure we are ready for the industry when it rebounds back. And that’s what we’re seeing.”

When it comes to the future, Hany remains positive. As he puts it, “the future is just as strong and bright as it’s ever been.” With MedAire known as the proven health and security risk management leader in the aviation and maritime industries, its future holds investments, expansion, technological innovation, and collaboration with customers. Most importantly to Hany, “ that ongoing dialogue is to ensure that we meet our customer’s needs. ”

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