The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has identified four priorities it believes can make air cargo more secure, as part of its Secure Freight initiative to promote global security standards. The goal of Secure Freight is to facilitate safe, secure and efficient operations of air cargo.
“The stakes are high. If regulators and governments lose confidence in the security of air freight, then bureaucracy will increase and ultimately some items may not even be viable to be air freighted,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO. “Commerce as we know it would look very different.”
Tyler points out that nearly 50 million tons of cargo are transported by air per year, representing $5.3 trillion of business, or roughly 35% of the value of goods traded internationally.
IATA’s four air cargo priorities are:
1. Closer cooperation between all stakeholders.A team effort engaging the entire air cargo supply chain and governments is necessary to enhance and deploy global standards for security.
2. Harmonization and convergence of regulations.The International Civil Aviation Organization should be the focal point for this work, which could embrace a roadmap for states to obtain mutual recognition of cargo security regimes.
3. Global capacity building.Mutual support among governments will strengthen the security network. Tyler cites the example of Canada assisting Mexico with security programs for cargo and passenger traffic.
4. Long-term commitment.Harmonization and recognition of air cargo security requires a continued commitment from all parties over the long-term.
IATA represents 240 airlines comprising 84% of global air traffic.