All stakeholders must be on the same page, says IATA

The problems of information sharing in a multi-stakeholder environment are well documented.

When it comes to governments sharing with corporate entities, the sensitivity of the data is a typical barrier.

There must be a method of exchange for information that ranges from passenger details to conflict zone updates

Nevertheless, conflict zone and threat-related information received by airlines from governments doesn’t reach the quality required for practical threat-based screening solutions.

And there is no ongoing dialogue to improve the quality.

This situation is typified by reports of  a foiled bomb plot on a carrier flying out of Sydney. The reports suggesting a carrier was targeted were based on information in the public domain.

But if aviation security measures are to evolve, the industry must be able to learn from the forensic information of this event.

“All stakeholders must be on the same page,” says Matthew Vaughan, IATA’s Director of Aviation Security.

“There must be a method of exchange for information that ranges from passenger details to conflict zone updates. Any additional information that affects the continuity of aviation is important.”

IATA fully endorses an amendment to ICAO Annex 17 requiring nations to provide information in support of operators’ risk assessments.

There is still inconsistency between states in the information offered

This is a step in the right direction but still falls short of the true multi-lateral sharing of risk information that is needed.

As it stands, airlines continue to have difficulty in accessing the security information that makes risk management possible.

In January 2017, ICAO conducted an industry survey concerning the usefulness of its web-based conflict zone information repository.

Initial results indicated dramatic improvement was required to provide a more efficient means of disseminating critical information in a timely manner.

“There is still inconsistency between states in the information offered,” agrees Vaughan.

“Even something as well established as Advanced Passenger Information not implemented consistently, for example.”

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