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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for a partnership between industry, governments and regulators to enhance aviation security by embracing a globally harmonized, risk-based system. “Aviation security stands at a crossroads. Global passenger numbers will be approaching four billion per year by 2017, and the aging systems and outdated procedures of the current security system will not be able to cope. We need to change from prescriptive one-size-fits-all measures and embrace performance-based regulation if the economic benefits of aviation growth are not to be curtailed by security inefficiency,” said IATA director general Tony Tyler, speaking at the 22nd AVSEC World conference in Istanbul.

Tyler noted three key areas for improving security co-operation: The importance of early collaboration between industry and government; That the shift to a risk-based approach should be pursued more aggressively; Security is best enhanced through a strengthened and harmonized global system — not adopting disparate regimes.

The move to risk-based security requires advance passenger information (API) to be collected by governments. Some 45 states already have API or Passenger Name Record (PNR) programs, with a similar number looking to implement such schemes. However, it is essential that these regimes be harmonized in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations. In addition the cost of collecting and processing the data should be borne by governments and not the airlines.

The data being collected can also be used more effectively. The use of registered traveller programs can be broadened. The success of voluntary immigration and customs known traveller programs demonstrates that passengers are willing to share even more data in order to smooth the process.

“Governments and industry can work together to make better use of the data collected. A good example is the Checkpoint of the Future initiative, which aims to improve the security and convenience of passenger screening by moving to a risk-based approach and adopting advanced technology. The flying public is eager to see the Checkpoint of Future deployed as quickly as possible. Stakeholders are aligned behind a staged implementation that will see the first versions in 2014. Subsequent stages will see us move from re-purposing equipment and using data more thoughtfully to the eventual deployment of new equipment in the final stage, around 2020,” said Tyler.

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