IATA calls for security unity

04 / 10 / 2011

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) is pushing governments and other aviation stakeholders to adopt Checkpoint of the Future (CoF), a supply chain approach to cargo security, harmonisation of measures among governments and constant vigilance about new threats.

“Today’s security checkpoint was developed in the 1970s when hijackers carrying metal weapons were the threat. It is a 40 year-old-concept that needs to fundamentally change,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s chief executive officer, said.

In the aftermath of last year’s incident concerning printer cartridges being shipped from Yemen, governments continue to look for ways to further tighten air cargo security. “The future of air cargo security is a multi-layered approach involving the whole supply chain and including both advanced electronic information and physical screening. But we don’t want to see 100 per cent screening at airports, which would grind global commerce to a halt,” Tyler said.

This year airlines are expected to carry some 46 million metric tonnes of air cargo, which will account for about 35 per cent of the total value of goods traded internationally.

Airlines are concerned over the proliferation of bespoke requirements by governments for advance data on passengers and cargo. “ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organisation] and the World Customs Organization have developed recognised standards. If governments don’t use them, we face spending time and effort to meet requirements that do not improve security,” said Tyler.