IATA calls for security revamp for air cargo

November 2nd, 2010 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Tuesday urged greater cooperation among security regulators to make air freights more secure.

Just days after the interception of two U.S.-bound packages carrying explosives in cargo shipped from Yemen, IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani said the failed cargo bomb plot was an opportunity to tighten cargo security procedures.

“The events in Yemen have put cargo security at the top of our agenda. Air freight drives the world economy. The products that we carry represent 35 percent of the total value of goods traded internationally,” Bisignani said in a statement.

According to Bisignani, in 2009, airlines carried 26 million tonnes of international cargo, which will increase to 38 million tonnes by 2014.

“Transporting these goods safely, securely and efficiently is critical,” said Bisignani. He referred to crucial areas for cargo security like better supply chain, screening technology and digital data collection through E-freights.

The association is planning to lead a global effort to modernize the 40-year-old airport screening process with the next generation checkpoints.

“Belts, shoes and shampoos are not the problem. We must shift the screening focus from looking for bad objects to finding terrorists,” said Bisignani.

“To do this effectively, we need intelligence and technology at the checkpoint,” he said and suggested that governments should follow global standards on data collection and sharing of information.

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