By Solomon Asowata
Lagos – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments and stakeholders in the aviation to work more closely to keep the industry secured against evolving security threats.
IATA’s Director-General, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, made the call while speaking at the Aviation Security World conference in Miami, Florida, U.S on Wednesday.
His speech was obtained from IATA’s website by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
de Juniac said that the cooperation was imperative, especially as doubling of passengers demand had been forecast to reach 8.2 billion by 2037.
”Flying is secure. But keeping it that way is not an easy task. Threats are evolving. The geo-political landscape is complex.
”Technology is rapidly changing; and the volumes of both cargo and travellers keep growing.
“Global standards and collaboration among governments and industry are the bedrock of our continued success,” he said.
The director-general urged stakeholders to focus on global standards, information sharing, risk-based analysis and emerging threats to secure aviation for decades to come.
According to him, global standards for aviation security were agreed by governments through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and are codified in Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention.
He said: ”It has been 45 years since Annex 17 was added to the Chicago Convention. Still, far too many states are struggling to implement the Annex 17 baseline requirements.
”A weakness anywhere in the system affects everyone. The goal is 100 per cent implementation.
”There is an urgent need for developed countries to provide more comprehensive assistance to developing countries to ensure the baseline security measures are met.”
The IATA chief said threats would continue to evolve and become ever more complex, adding that those wishing to do aviation harm had no state allegiance.
”They cross borders to share information and collaborate to refine their methods of causing chaos and destruction.
”The focus of governments must be on protecting people.
“It cannot be done with insular thinking. We must get better at sharing information,” de Juniac said. (NAN)