IATA calls for closer government-to-government co-operation to eliminate long-term challenges

ABU DHABI, 14th November, 2017 (WAM) -- The International Air Transport Association, IATA, called for aviation security to be further strengthened by addressing four key areas; closer government-to-government co-operation to eliminate the long-term challenges of extraterritorial measures, the universal application of global standards, better information-sharing among governments and with industry, and the efficient implementation of new and existing technology capabilities.

"Governments and the industry are partners in aviation security. Airlines have the operational know-how. Governments have the financial and intelligence resources. We have to put them together effectively in a continuous dialogue focused on improving security," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director-General and CEO, said in a keynote address to the IATA AVSEC World Conference in Abu Dhabi.

De Juniac emphasised, "We cannot predict the next security challenge but some things we do know for sure. Our common defence is stronger when governments and industry work together. And if we can avoid long-term extraterritorial measures, focus on global standards, share information and develop technology efficiently, our hand is strengthened even further."

Governments must avoid the long-term use of extraterritorial measures and ensure that airlines are not left to bear the financial brunt of unplanned expenses for an indeterminate period.

"Threats to aviation are real and we understand that sometimes unilateral additional measures of an extraterritorial nature may be unavoidable. But these cannot be long-term solutions and airlines should not be caught in the middle, picking up the pieces and bearing unplanned expenses for an indeterminate period when governments cannot agree on measures needed for the security of their citizens.

"Global standards are critical to effectively manage the security of a global industry. States are responsible for implementing effective security measures. Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention, which has been in place for four decades, makes this clear but shockingly 40 percent of states have struggled to implement even its baseline requirements. This is not good enough," he added.

De Juniac welcomed the development of the Global Aviation Security Plan, GASeP, by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, and urged its swift implementation.

"Development and implementation are different things as we clearly see with low levels of compliance to Annex 17 requirements. Capacity building will be critical. States will need to integrate the priority actions outlined in GASeP into their respective National Civil Aviation Security Programmes if it is to be effective," de Juniac said.


WAM/Tariq alfaham