ACI-NA conference opens with call for airport security overhaul

ACI-NA conference opens with call for airport security overhaul

By LBlachly
Created 2010-09-27 17:45
By Aaron Karp [1]

Airports are urging governments around the world to take a second look at their aviation security regimes and to work cooperatively to develop a global, standardized approach, officials said Monday at the opening of the Airports Council InternationalNorth America Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh.

Sydney Airport Corp. Chairman and CEO Max Moore-Wilton, chair of the ACI World Governing Board, told delegates that while “there is no doubt that we face a threat…I have no doubt in my mind that the present [security] system is unsustainable in the long term.” In order for the air transport industry to reach its projected growth potential (ATW Daily News, July 16 [2]), “we can’t have a situation where every time you travel, you’re treated [by airport security] as if it’s the first time you’ve ever travelled by air.”

New US Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole (ATW Daily News, May 18 [3]),Canadian Air Transport Security AuthorityPresident and CEO Kevin McGarr and European Commission Director-Air Transport DanielCalleja met with the ACI-NA and ACI-Europe boards in Pittsburgh on the eve of the conference, and were urged to work towards “an integrated transatlantic’one stop security’ system.”
Aviation security standards in the EU, Canada and the US are among the highest in the world,” ACI Europe President Ad Rutten said. “We are calling for the EU and US to further step up their cooperation…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.”

Sacramento County Airport System Director Hardy Acree, the current chair of ACI-NA, said the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines A330 (ATW, April 1 [4]) “validates that aviation remains the top target for terrorists.” He noted that TSA has already installed 200 advanced imaging technology body-scanning units at checkpoints in US airports and plans to install another 250 “with many of the installations requiring facility alteration.” The next eight airports slated to receive AIT machines, paid for via the US government’s 2009 stimulus program, are Cleveland, Dayton, Newark, New Orleans, Memphis, Ontario (Calif.), Portland (Ore.) and St. Louis.

Photo: Sydney Airport Corp. Chairman and CEO Max Moore-Wilton, chair of the ACI World Governing Board. Courtesy, Airports Council International.

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