The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 72nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) has unanimously adopted a resolution denouncing terrorism and advocated for intensified cooperation among governments as well as with the air transport industry to keep flying secure.
According to IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Tyler, ”The foundation stone of security has been rocked by tragedy. In the last twelve months, terrorists have laid claim to atrocities involving Metro-jet 9268, Daallo 159, and at Brussels Airport. These are grim reminders that aviation is vulnerable. Airlines rely on governments to keep passengers and employees secure as part of their responsibility for national security. And we are committed to working with them in that challenging task.”
Tyler spoke at IATA’s 72nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dublin.
The airline international body also resolved and also called on airlines to work together with airports and other key stakeholders to counter the risk of terrorist threats.
It also urged governments to:
• Work in partnership among themselves and with airlines to counter the risk of terrorist threats to aviation, recognizing ICAO’s critical role in this effort;
• Commit all possible government resources, particularly intelligence resources, to fighting the use of aviation for terrorist acts;
• Share relevant information to ensure that measures to prevent and respond to terrorist acts are appropriate and effective.
The resolution reinforces the commitment of cooperation by the Global Travel Association Coalition (of which IATA is a member) following the Brussels attacks.
Tyler noted that the recent attack on Brussels Airport highlighted the importance of security in airport public areas landside, adding that keeping this area secure is fully the responsibility of governments and the most effective defence is government intelligence used to stop terrorists long before they reach airport property.
IATA DG posited that risk in airport public areas can be mitigated, however, with efficient processes
IATA stated that it was working with Airports Council International (ACI) to expand the footprint of the joint Smart Security initiative to streamline airport screening with modern technology and a risk-based approach.
This, the IATA boss further stated would bring the triple benefits of red: reduced queues landside, more effective screening and an improved passenger experience.
Tyler hinted that IATA was working with partners across the value chain to implement Fast Travel which will expedite passenger processing with self-service options, adding that internet check-in and home-printed baggage tags allow the passenger to arrive at the airport ready to travel, thereby reducing passenger dwell time in landside areas of the airport.
According to Tyler, “Intelligence is the most powerful tool that governments have to protect their citizens wherever they are at work, in their homes or while travelling. One of the biggest risk areas are large crowds. Industry is helping to bolster these efforts with practical measures; Smart Security and Fast Travel that will mitigate risk by reducing airport queues.”