Industry group calls for global aviation security standards
27 April 2012
Posted by Samuel Couratin
There should be a set of international standards drawn up to ensure that aviation security is the best it can be, an industry group suggests.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), harmonization is a key ingredient in making facilities around the world safer and it has called for governments to concentrate on targeted safety measures rather than "costly and cumbersome regulations".
The body has outlined a series of four guiding principles for its safety initiatives during the next year, including training for pilots and engineers and an enhanced IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) programme.
Furthermore, IATA has created a dedicated ground operations team to support its Ground Handling Committee in order to deliver better safety and efficiency, while reducing ground damage.
Guenther Matschnigg, IATA Senior Vice President for Safety, Operations and Infrastructure, declared: "Safety remains the top priority. We have a full agenda to make an already safe industry even safer."
In addition to enhancing standards around the globe with regards to aviation safety, operations at airports may need to be reassessed in light of the arrests of workers from Los Angeles who are alleged to have allowed smuggled drugs to pass through controls.
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security screeners are accused of being paid by traffickers to turn a blind eye to large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana when they were looking at X-ray images at Los Angeles International Airport.
Payments of up to $2,400 (£1,479) are thought to have been handed over in order to get the suitcases of narcotics past security screening.
A total of four individuals have been charged with federal drug trafficking and bribery in relation to five incidents taking place in 2011, while a further three people are under investigation by the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA).
"The defendants traded on their positions at one the world's most crucial airport security checkpoints, used their special access for criminal ends and compromised the safety and security of their fellow citizens for their own profit," said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge of Los Angeles Briane M Grey.