International aviation leaders call for better collaboration

Monday, September 27, 2010

PITTSBURGH—The biggest players in aviation security gathered here Sept. 27 to discuss how they can better cooperate to keep air travelers safe on an international scale.

“Building upon the existing level of coordination with and between the U.S., Canada and the EU is essential as we move forward to design the future aviation security system, which must be effective and efficient, yet sustainable over the long term,” said Hardy Acree, chairman of the Airports Council International, N.A., in a prepared statement.

The event was part of the joint board of directors meeting of the North American and European regions of Airports Council International and included John Pistole, the new Administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, as well as representatives from the European Commission and Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

During the meeting, attendees stressed the importance of achieving an integrated transatlantic “One Stop Security” system, which is intended to deliver better service quality to passengers, while maintaining an effective level of security. However, members acknowledged the difficulty of this initiative.

“Aviation security standards in the EU, Canada and the U.S. are among the highest in the world,” said ACI Europe President Ad Rutten, in the statement. “Yet, the ultimate goal of a one-stop security regime, including fully compatible solutions still has a lot of progress to make.”

Integrating the various security systems and data networks together requires a considerable amount of collaboration. “We are calling for the EU and US to further step up their cooperation. We are calling upon them to work in a concerted and active way on designing the aviation security system of tomorrow. The way forward is clear. Improve the effectiveness of aviation security – by moving from almost exclusive focus on detection to better use of intelligence and information in the whole passenger security process,” said Rutten.