New Delhi: Air travellers changing flights at international airports may have hassle-free journeys if governments across the globe amend laws and procedures and standardise their security apparatus to implement the concept of one-stop security.
Despite the heightened security measures at airports across the globe due to terror threats, the concept is being actively pursued by the International Air Transport Association, or Iata.
The one-stop security concept entails that a passenger, who has undergone stringent checks at the point of origin, is not frisked and checked again when he or she catches a connecting flight. Such passengers would have to be kept in separate enclosures so that they do not get mixed up with those who need to go through security checks.
The Iata is proposing the concept also for passenger baggage as well as air cargo so that once the security controls are applied properly to ensure secure baggage and cargo, no further screening or inspection during trans-shipment should be required.
Explaining the concept, Iata director (security and facilitation) Georgina Graham said under this system the passenger travelling without break and changing flights for the final destination need not be checked at the second airport.
“This, however, does not mean that security is being downgraded because, in fact, you were screened adequately at the point of origin and within that time-frame you have had no opportunity to take on board or get rid of anything that you had,” she said.
The Iata, the umbrella body of world airlines, is working with some major airports in the US and Europe to launch a pilot project for one-stop security, Graham told PTI in an interview.
She said the concept would not only enhance passenger facilitation but also reduce duplicating measures while maintaining security.
Noting that about 1.6 billion passengers travel by air every year, Iata chief Giovanni Bisignani had earlier said simplifying the approach towards security “with standardisation of rules” was essential.
The urgent situation after the 9/11 attacks resulted in “uncoordinated actions by governments. We kept pace with often chaotic results. The approach of the governments to security is still fragmented. This is not acceptable. We need to battle terrorism, not paperwork”, he had said.
The chief of the Iata, the organisation that has estimated that the industry spends over $5 billion on security, said that states must defend their citizens and asked why air travellers should be forced to pay for their security when it is provided by the governments in trains, discos, public parks or at home.
“Paying for security is not a subsidy it is a state responsibility,” he said.
In the same vein, the Iata security director said the global body would encourage governments to recognise each other’s security measures, receive assurance of adequate screening at the point of origin, exchange information and improve collaboration.