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ABU DHABI — Better information sharing and coordination on security measures among governments and with the industry is essential, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in a keynote address to the IATA AVSEC World Conference in Abu Dhabi.
“The failure to share information among states manifests itself in many ways. The differing responses by governments to the threats that resulted in this year’s ban on Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) on some routes by the US and UK is an example of the confusion that can result,” said de Juniac.
“Governments and the industry are partners in aviation security. Airlines have 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.”
No one can predict the next security challenge but “our common defense is stronger when governments and industry work together,” he said. “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, he added.
“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.”
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirement that airlines conduct interviews with passengers flying to the US is an example of an extraterritorial requirement, he said. “Such interviews are traditionally done by government authorities. In the short term airlines may seem to be the best positioned to conduct the interviews. But in the long-term, if governments believe that these interviews are critical, then governments themselves should work together to dedicate the resources needed to fulfill that function.”