Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler has called
on the aviation industry to work towards a more efficient and harmonised
process of aviation security that can make life easier for the millions
of passengers who keep the industry alive.
In a speech given on Tuesday at
the International Aviation Security Conference 2009, held at the Regal
Airport Hotel at Hong Kong International Airport, Mr Tyler said that
Cathay Pacific is strongly supportive of a move, led by the
International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to accelerate the harmonisation of
security standards through one-stop security.
industry has been trying to achieve this since 1997 but progress has
been painfully slow and sporadic,” Mr Tyler said. “That’s why we support
and endorse the call from IATA for ICAO and its aviation security panel
to provide the leadership to make one-stop security a global reality.”
Mr Tyler said there was no suggestion that the industry should relax
its guard, “but I strongly believe we have to make a greater effort to
tackle some of the long-standing issues that make the security process
more difficult and more costly than it should be.
“I have lost
count of the number of times customers have complained to me about the
ambiguities and lack of consistency they encounter in security
requirements in the world’s airports. Some airports require you to take
out your laptop, others don’t; some make you remove your shoes, others
don’t; some want you to take off your belt; others don’t.
kind of message does that send to passengers? They are understandably
puzzled and frustrated and more than occasionally worried about these
inconsistencies. Take liquids and gels, as another example. As Giovanni
Bisignani of IATA asked pointedly in a recent speech in New York, where
is the data that shows that a shampoo bottle is a greater risk than a
belt buckle? There is none. Yet we spend millions to limit carry-on
“How do we expect our customers to make any sense of
that? And what are passengers to make of the fact that they need to be
screened again – sometimes twice – while in transit? Another example is
the baffling array of policies covering metal knives onboard aircraft
and in the secure areas of airports. The bizarre array of rules
currently in place serves only to confuse and annoy passengers, create
unnecessary costs for airlines and caterers and place strain on security
Mr Tyler added that “inconsistent and poorly conceived”
rules bring the whole security process into ridicule, while imposing
unproductive cost onto the airlines and frustrating all concerned –
passengers in particular.
“There are solutions waiting out there to iron
out all the anomalies. We must find them and implement them,” he said.
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