Air freight drives the global economy, and the threats originating from Yemen last month have focused world attention on air cargo security.
A few days ago, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) added its voice to the rising chorus, revealing plans to lead a global effort to modernize the 40 year old airport screening process.
According to Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO, there are several areas where more progress is needed to improve air cargo security programs. The list includes:
Supply chain."The entire supply chain, from manufacturer to airport, has a responsibility for secure shipments. The supply chain approach must be driven by government and industry cooperation on investment, processes, technology and risk assessment. Many countries, including the UK and the US, have advanced supply chain solutions. The industry is committed. IATA's Secure Freight program is helping to promote this critical component of our cargo security efforts," Bisignani said.
Technology. Supply chain solutions, intelligence, e-freight systems and airport screening programs must be integrated to manage freight security.
Risk. Global cooperation is needed to mitigate risks identified by intelligence operations.
Bisignani, who spoke at the opening of AVSEC World in Frankfurt, Germany, offered some straight-talk about how new measures can tighten security and ease passenger hassle.
"Belts, shoes and shampoos are not the problem. We must shift the screening focus from looking for bad objects to finding terrorists. To do this effectively, we need intelligence and technology at the checkpoint. The enormous amount of data that we collect on passengers can help governments to identify risks. The overall process must become much quicker and more convenient. It is not acceptable to treat passengers as terrorists until they prove themselves innocent," he said. "My long-term vision is for passengers to be able to get from the entrance of the airport to the door of the aircraft in a seamless and uninterrupted process."