Cape Town – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on governments and regulators to work with the industry to eliminate ineffective duplication of aviation security procedures.

“Security is a top priority, alongside safety and environmental responsibility. Even with an expected US$11 billion in losses this year, the priorities will not be compromised. The financial crisis makes it more important than ever for regulators, security agencies, airports and airlines to work together and to work smarter to ensure that every dollar spent brings benefit,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“It is time to eliminate ineffective and costly duplication of aviation security procedures. They are costly for airlines and a hassle for our passengers but do nothing to improve security. Harmonization, efficiency and cost effectiveness are the key to keeping aviation secure,” said Guenther Matschnigg, IATA’s Senior Vice President Safety Operations & Infrastructure in a keynote address to AVSEC World 2009, the world’s most important annual gathering of aviation security policy makers and stakeholders, in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Airlines now spend US$5.9 billion a year on security. Airlines and travelers cannot afford to pay for duplication because governments have not been able to harmonize or have mutually-agreed requirements,” said Matschnigg.

To address the security challenge, IATA and the Aviation Security Executive Group developed a strategy based on five key criteria, which will deliver effective and appropriate security measures, without causing damage to an already fragile airline community.

The five criteria for this win-win strategy are:

1. Adopting a threat-based and risk managed approach using systems-based measures. IATA has developed a holistic Security Management System (SeMS) which could be integrated into national regulations.

2. In shaping the regulatory framework, instead of working in isolation, regulators must work with industry on outcome-based legislation

3. Airlines and regulators must manage their relationship to share their perspectives, knowledge and experience of operational impact to the development and evolution of regulations. This includes regulators exercising caution before introducing even small regulatory or procedural changes which cost millions of dollars for airlines to test and implement

4. The deliberate and structured use of innovation and technology to support continual security improvements

5. Implementing cost-effective and efficient measures judged in terms of added value, proportionality, common sense and cost-effectiveness. This will foster decision making based on data and sound threat analysis instead of fear and improbability.

AVSEC World 2009, being held in Cape Town from 10-12 November, sees key security experts from governments, airlines and airports gathering to set a global air transport security agenda that addressing current threats, identifies best practice and sets global standards that will help the industry survive today – and be prepared for the future.

Also addressing the conference are The Hon. Sibusisu Ndebele, Minister of Transport, Republic of South Africa, The Hon. Mrs Nkososana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Home Affairs, Republic of South Africa and Raymond Benjamin, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN specialized agency for civil aviation.

Delegates include government regulators, airline and airport managers, security personnel, law enforcement, customs and immigration agencies, industry associations and aviation security-related service providers.

Key Topics on the agenda at AVSEC World 2009 are:

  • The Current Global Terrorist Threat
  • Current Operational & Regulatory Threats
  • Integrating Risk Mitigation into the Global Baseline
  • New Approaches to Passenger Screening: Is There a Better Way?
  • How to Set up a One-Stop Security System: Methodology and Best Practices
  • Region in Focus: Challenges and Opportunities in Africa
  • Screening Technology: Getting Technology from the Lab to the Airport
  • The Traveler’s Airport Experience
  • Passenger Security: Challenges & Solutions
  • Cargo Security: The Challenges and Opportunities it Presents
  • Continuous Improvement & Quality Assurance: From Theory to Practice
  • Achieving More with Less: Quantifying Result

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967

Linden Birns – Plane Talking
PR for IATA, Southern Africa
Mobile: +27 82 568 80 31