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IATA CEO: Security Programs Can’t Sustain Global PAX Growth

With global passenger traffic expected to double over the next two decades, IATA’s CEO warns of inadequate security resources.

“Today’s passenger screening efforts world-wide are neither efficient nor user-friendly, so we have no choice but to change,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tony Tyler, CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as saying before a security conference on Monday.

Stating that current passenger security procedures are “not sustainable for the long term,” Tyler said the expected doubling of international passenger growth over the next two decades will overwhelm capacity at screening checkpoints, causing wait times to “increase exponentially.”

Tyler delivered the remarks at the AVSEC World Conference, which was held in Washington and sponsored by IATA. The annual conference brings together industry leaders and airlines to discuss global initiatives needed to align border and aviation security around the world.

Tyler suggested that security checks focus more on potentially higher-risk passengers, thereby devoting less resources to those registered in frequent traveler or voluntary screening programs. Without such programs, Tyler predicted, the industry will see a rise in costs and decline in efficiency.

IATA officials also said they would like to see closer government and industry cooperation on a broad array of security issues, including improved communication of threat levels and international standards to “properly collect, analyze and disseminate such threat data in a timely manner,” The WSJ reports.

Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Air Canada and IATA chairman told the conference that “confusing and often contradictory” information about the dangers conflict zones present makes it difficult for airlines to gauge overflight risk accurately.

Tyler noted that IATA is “looking for a better system” capable of collecting important security data that is “authoritative, consistent and unequivocal,” which can be shared with all carriers.

[Photo: IATA Twitter]

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