The urgent need for states and aviation authorities to share information about risks, passengers and wide-ranging security issues was a key theme of opening day presentations on Tuesday at the 26th AVSEC World Conference in Abu Dhabi.
Governments also must be prepared to shoulder greater responsibility for resourcing evolving requirements such as assessing passenger risks over the long term, speakers warned.
Information sharing is not in the DNA of most government security organizations
In his keynote speech, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, called on government security organizations to overcome to their reluctance to share information when they are aware of a risk to human life.
“Our safety performance shows what can be achieved when governments cooperate among themselves and with the industry,” de Juniac said.
“Information sharing is not in the DNA of most government security organizations.
"But this reluctance must be overcome. And to be clear, we are not asking governments to divulge sensitive intelligence to industry.
"But if they know of a risk to human life—to innocent human life—they need to tell the people who can do something about it. Otherwise, what’s the use of having the information?”
Governments have the financial and intelligence resources. We must simply work together
De Juniac went on to say, “We are eager to work with governments to establish a government-industry partnership platform for the exchange of threat/risk information, during times of crisis when there are urgent threats and in the regular exercise of contingency planning.”
He added: “Effective security needs a strong government-industry partnership. Airlines have operational know-how.
"Governments have the financial and intelligence resources. We must simply work together.”
Offering a keynote welcome and opening remarks was H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Aviation Authority, who noted that the UAE Vision 2021 has included air transportation safety, security and infrastructure as a major key performance indicator with “specific and clear targets aiming at strengthening and sustaining the sector.”