The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday called for the implementation of the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASep), developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
The Director-General of IATA, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, made the call at the IATA Aviation Security World Conference in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
A copy of his speech was obtained from IATA’s website by our reporter in Lagos.
de Juniac noted that global standards were critical to managing the security of the aviation industry globally.
“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 per cent of states have struggled to implement even the baseline requirements. This is not good enough.
“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 Programme if it is to be effective,” de Juniac said.
He called for strengthening of partnership between governments and the industry in order to improve aviation security.
“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.
“We cannot predict the next security challenge. But some things we do know for sure. Our common defense is stronger when governments and industry work together.
“And, if we can avoid long-term extra-territorial measures, focus on global standards, share information and develop technology efficiently, our hand is strengthened even further.”
The IATA chief said noted that better information sharing and coordination on security measures among governments and with the industry was essential.
According to him, 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 on some routes by the U.S. and UK is an example of the confusion that can result.
“At its most tragic, it is clear that failure to share information contributed to the loss of the 298 people aboard MH17.
“While governments have the primary responsibility for security, we share the priority of keeping passengers, crew and aircraft secure. Intelligence is key.
“This is the only way to stop terrorists and we fully support the addition of an information sharing requirement to Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention.
“It is a step in the right direction, but it falls short of the true multi-lateral information sharing of risk information that is needed,” de Juniac said.