IATA has called on governments to urgently find
alternatives to the recently announced measures by the United
States and United Kingdom to restrict the carry-on of large
electronic items on certain flights departing the Middle East and
"The current measures are not an acceptable
long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to
mitigate," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATAís Director
General and CEO. "Even in the short term it is difficult to
understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions
they create are severe. We call on governments to work with the
industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating
passengers from their personal electronics."
De Juniac made this demand in a speech to the
Montreal Council on Foreign Relations in which he highlighted the
need to maintain public confidence in the security of the global
aviation industry which safely and security operates an average
100,000 flights a day.
"With the measures now in place, our passengers
and member airlines are asking valid questions. Why donít the US
and the UK have a common list of airports? How can laptops be
secure in the cabin on some flights and not others, including
flights departing from the same airport? And surely there must be
a way to screen electronic equipment effectively? The current
situation is not acceptable and will not maintain the
all-important confidence of the industry or of travelers. We must
find a better way. And Governments must act quickly," said de
IATA also expressed frustration at the process
used by governments to put in place the security measures which
was woefully lacking.
"The industry came together quickly to implement
the new requirements. That was a challenge because there was no
prior consultation and little coordination by governments," said
IATA has long called for better information
sharing and coordination on security measures among governments
and with the industry.
"While governments have the primary
responsibility for security, we share the priority of keeping
passengers, crew and aircraft secure. To do that effectively
intelligence is king. And it needs to be shared amongst
governments and with the industry. Itís the only way to stop
terrorists before they get near an airport, let alone aircraft,"
Moreover, cooperation between industry and
governments yields a better result.
"Airlines donít want access to
state secrets. But if airlines understand the outcome governments
want, they can help with the operational experience to deliver
that result effectively and efficiently," said de Juniac.
Challenges to aviation security were highlighted
in Resolution 2309 of the UN Security Council which tasked the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop a
Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).
"The need for such a plan
has been made very clear by wide gaps in the measures taken by
governments in recent days. States need to lend their full support
to ICAO in developing GASeP quickly. And even before that can be
achieved, there is an early opportunity to make a real improvement
to international cooperation on security. In May ICAO member
states will consider amendments to Annex 17 of the Chicago
convention that would require information sharing. The security
experience of recent years should compel states to support this,"
said de Juniac.
The topic of the laptop ban came up during the WTTC Global Summit
2017 session with Tony Fernandes (AirAsia) and Gary Chapman
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