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IATA: The most effective way to improve security is to prevent terrorism

In the difficult weeks since September 11th, better intelligence has become – and must remain – a top priority for Governments around the world…

In the difficult weeks since September 11th, better intelligence has become – and must remain – a top priority for Governments around the world. All Governments must work together to put in place, as a matter of the utmost urgency, the sophisticated infrastructure and procedures necessary to identify, track and detain all known or suspected terrorists.



But the attacks in the U.S., which transformed civil airliners into flying bombs, have also given rise to an urgent need to improve the security of civil aviation, both on the ground and in the air – without impeding traffic flows. The primary responsibility for providing – and financing – aviation security – rests withGovernments.



The Global Aviation Security Action Group (GASAG) has been established to coordinate industry efforts worldwide to improve aviation security and restore public confidence. GASAG brings together experts from throughout the aviation industry – IATA, the Airline Regional Associations, Airports Council International (ACI), the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA), Airbus, Boeing, ICAO, and INTERPOL.



The prevention of unlawful interference requires harmonized security measures that are effective, efficient and operationally manageable and that meet – and in some cases – exceed the provisions of ICAO Annex 17 and ECAC Document 30. The following industry positions have been developed by GASAG to provide a basis for the harmonization of worldwide efforts to tighten aviation security.



Improving airport security

  • In close collaboration with the industry, Governments need to explore and implement the latest available technologies to enhance the effectiveness of – and speed up – the screening of passengers, baggage and cargo worldwide.
  • Access control systems that combine identification media with personal information are essential in order to improve perimeter security and tighten access to restricted zones.
  • ??Employees and other people requiring unescorted access to restricted areas must be subjected to more stringent and recurring background checks – another responsibility that
  • needs to be shared with Governments.


IMPROVING IN-FLIGHT SECURITY

  • Cockpit doors need to be strengthened and should be locked as far as is practicable; adequate communications procedures need to be established between the cockpit and cabin.
  • Further consideration should be given to the need for cameras which would enable passengers to be monitored from the flight deck.
  • The use of non-lethal protective devices by flight crews in case of emergency needs to be assessed. Our industry does not support the arming of flight crews with lethal weapons, combat training for flight crews, nor the carriage of ammunition, firearms and other weapons in aircraft, except where specifically
  • required by States.
  • However, where a State mandates the use of armed in-flight security personnel, such personnel must be provided, funded, selected and trained to the highest standards by the State.
  • An urgent review should be carried out of onboard safety equipment and items carried in the cabin to determine whether they may pose a potential security risk.
  • Pursuant to recent recommendations by IATA and ICAO, legislation facilitating the arrest and prosecution of unruly passengers needs to be internationally coordinated by Governments.
  • New means of improved air/ground communications, possibly including a secure transponder, should be further studied.
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