The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has called for immediate government-approved security solutions for the airline electronics ban announced by the United States and United Kingdom.
IATA calculations indicate 393 flights per week will be impacted by the electronics ban. By APEX load-factor calculations, this translates into more than three million affected passengers per year. With airline and government co-ordination, APEX believes that solutions may be rapidly implemented by airlines to further increase security and allow personal electronics on-board.
“The US and U.K. pointed to a problem in airline security by banning electronics on certain flights. When we take away personal electronic devices from passengers, we are bowing to a potential threat rather than providing an acceptable security solution,” said APEX CEO Joe Leader. “Chemical detection machines utilized worldwide can detect illicit items in electronics. Turning on electronics checks functionality and non-functioning electronics could be banned from flights. The expense of hand-searching every carry-on for the personal electronics ban could instead be directed to a long-term solution that serves airline passengers and safety.”
APEX believes that without viable solutions provided to airlines, the electronics ban may spread well beyond the intended scope. Since the existing security scope includes individuals with travel privileges to the US and U.K., these same individuals could connect via other airports where on-board personal electronics are not banned.
“Every threat placed against global air carriers has been met with viable solutions,” said Leader. “We now globally screen every checked bag, carefully scan all carry-ons, restrict liquids, conduct body-scans, and regularly conduct chemical analysis checks on items. When passengers connect internationally, they are frequently scanned again. Placing items into the cargo hold does not fully address the issue with a passenger-centric solution.”
APEX has directly engaged key US and U.K. government officials on a solutions-oriented approach to make aircraft more secure and prevent the spread of the electronics ban.