The era of sustained controlled powered flight began little more than a hundred years ago. Since then the civil aviation industry has grown into a sector of immense importance. As flight trajectories and planes themselves took on a more complex character, airports too had to evolve to accommodate the growing number of destinations and flights served, and passengers imposed upon them.

Later, when aircraft started to become the targets of terrorist operations, lawmakers sought solutions in mandating security procedures at airports. However, as security levels increased, perpetrators of aviation related offences found newer and more ingenious ways to challenge the system. The contest between lawmakers and law-breakers continued until the tragic events of 11 September 2001, which questioned the adequacy of airport security in North America.

The consequence of 9/11, on other air-faring states, was profound. Many states were forced to re-examine how security is handled at their own airports, and speculate on the probability of similar threats to their territories. The events of 9/11 clearly highlighted the inadequacy of the various laws and security systems that had previously been enacted and designed to prevent such events from occurring.

Such security systems often served to detect and weed-out ‘sky criminals', before they board an aircraft, at a number of ‘check points' operated by different personnel and equipment. However, such preventive strategies were not as well defined, nor developed, as the domestic and international laws that had continually been enacted and tightened to serve as deterrent measures.