IATA calls on UK and US governments to seek fresh alternatives

The measures announced by United States and the United Kingdom to restrict the carry-on of large electronic items on certain flights “are not an acceptable long-term solution”, IATA has said.

The ban applies to certain flights departing the Middle East and North Africa, and IATA has called on governments to urgently seek alternatives.

“Even in the short term it is difficult to understand the effectiveness of the measures,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.  

With the measures now in place, our passengers and member airlines are asking valid questions

“And the commercial distortions they create are severe. We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics. We must find a better way.”

De Juniac reiterated that safety is the aviation’s number one priority, but added the new measures will not maintain trust in the industry.

"With the measures now in place, our passengers and member airlines are asking valid questions,” said de Juniac.

“Why don’t the US and the UK have a common list of airports? How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others, including flights departing from the same airport? And surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively?

“The current situation is not acceptable, and governments must act quickly.”

Intelligence is king. And it needs to be shared amongst governments and with the industry

De Juniac also expressed frustration at the US and UK governments' lack of communication with the airlines industry before they announced the security measures. He has called for a more coordinated approach in future.

“While governments have the primary responsibility for security, we share the priority of keeping passengers, crew and aircraft secure,” he said. “To do that effectively, intelligence is king. And it needs to be shared amongst governments and with the industry. It’s the only way to stop terrorists before they get near an airport, let alone aircraft.”

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