IATA CEO Tony Tyler says the model for TSA Pre-Check, currently operational at 121 U.S. airports, should be exported abroad and various countries’ operations should be linked as a way to speed travelers and enhance security.
“TSA’s Pre-check is a big success in the U.S. but the model needs to be exported to other countries,” said Tyler, who addressed the AVSEC World 2014 conference in Washington, D.C. today. “I also urge governments that are looking into introducing such programs to think from the very outset in terms that would allow them to link and mutually recognize one another’s programs across borders.”
“To some extent this is happening with automated border control, such as between the U.S. and Canada,” Tyler said. “Why not do it with security? As that happens, it will fuel a virtuous cycle of increasing incentives for more people to join the programs, resulting in more knowledge about who is traveling and even better security.”
Tyler also addressed the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, which was shot down over the Ukraine in July, saying airlines require “clear and accurate information on which to base operational decisions on where and when it is safe to fly” over conflict zones.
Tyler said MH-17 “had every clearance to be where it was,” but airlines require better information nonetheless.
“Such information can only come from governments and must be accessible in an authoritative, accurate, consistent, and unequivocal way,” Tyler said. “There can be no excuses. Even sensitive information can be sanitized in a way that ensures airlines get essential and actionable information without compromising methods or sources. And, although I will repeat that this is a state responsibility, I can also commit that the industry is ready to assist in any way possible to help governments to make this happen.”
Tyler also called for new international regulation of anti-aircraft weapons by countries through the UN framework.
“There is no international law or convention that imposes on states a duty to manage the design, manufacture and deployment of anti-aircraft weapons,” Tyler said. “We have conventions that address many other types of weaponry and trade in weapons generally. MH17 has demonstrated that powerful and sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons are in the hands of non-state entities. Under ICAO’s leadership, I am confident that we can find ways within the UN system, to augment the international law framework to ensure that states fully understand and discharge their responsibilities in this regard.”