The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is rolling out a new international security system aimed at streamlining passenger checks at airports.
The new Smart Security initiative follows the US-led “pre-check” programme, which pre-screens passengers prior to their flight. Passenger details will be shared between governments and airports, enabling low-risk passengers to be processed more quickly, reducing queuing times at airport security areas.
IATA will launch the Smart Security initiative at Amsterdam and Melbourne airports, and is urging more governments to partner the programme.
“Our customers — the billions of people who fly with no ill intention — continue to tell us that security is the biggest pain point in their journey,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general & CEO. “We have come a long way since the dark days that followed the 9/11 tragedy. A deepened working partnership of industry and governments has ample scope for further improvements.”
IATA added that while known-traveller programmes are in use among border control agencies, there are few examples of their application to airport screening processes.
Many governments require airlines to provide Advance Passenger Information (API) and information contained in Passenger Name Records (PNR) in advance, but Tyler said this had not led to a significant improvement in the passenger experience or a shortening of queues. To improve this, he urged all governments to comply with global standards for API and PNR information collection.
“I don’t question the authority of states to require such information. But this uncoordinated approach is leading to what looks like an expensive, onerous and likely wasteful effort,” said Tyler.
“We all want the same outcomes: secure air transport and a convenient passenger experience. The only way to ensure that is in a working partnership of industry and government. There is no time to lose in moving ahead. The challenge grows with every new traveller. This year we expect to transport 3.5 billion passengers. In much less than two decades that number will more than double. Business as usual is not an option,” said Tyler.