As the U.S. began enhanced security screening for inbound international fights on Thursday, Asia’s airline leaders called for effective implementation of ICAO global standards and controls rather than unilateral actions that could result in unnecessary disruption and inconvenience to operations. The call came from delegates at October 24 to 25 the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents in Taipei.
The U.S. established the new measures—including more explosive swab tests and security interviews with passengers—to replace a ban on laptops and personal electronic devices (PEDs).
“Now you have destination-specific security, which adds complexity,” said AAPA director general Andrew Herdman in his keynote speech during the assembly’s opening ceremony.
Herdman said the new measures affect terminals with centralized screening. Airports will now have to set aside more screening facilities at specific gates for U.S.-bound flights, requiring more manpower, training and cost.
In Asia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan all serve as major gateways to the U.S.
“Your on-time performance and efficient utilization of gates will be threatened,” he warned. “The question now is if it is sustainable and scalable with the growing passenger numbers here.”
Herdman called for governments and industry players to discuss what kind of security measures would prove most effective in combating the threats.
”Unfortunately aviation security is a kneejerk reaction to some incident,” he said.
“Aviation security is a global concern and we need a global dialogue and approach. ICAO is formulating a global aviation security plan to provide guidance and priorities.”