Sunday, August 20, 2006

IATA: Governments should pay for extra security

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that governments, not airport operators, should bear the cost of the extra security that has been required since the British foiled a plot to blow up airliners.

From Reuters, via
In an interview published in France's Le Monde newspaper, IATA's chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said British airport operator BAA had not been well enough prepared to deal with the consequences and more international cooperation was needed to tackle the threat of terrorism.

Bisignani said airlines faced combined extra security costs of USD$5.6 billion a year since September 11, 2001 and governments had to shoulder part of the responsibility.

Asked if governments should pay for the extra costs arising from strengthened security imposed this month, the industry group's chief replied: "Absolutely."

He continued: "Most of the security problems with which we are confronted are not directly linked to air traffic. National security comes under the responsibility of governments. They should therefore assume the responsibility for the bill."

He said there was no reason why stations and stadiums should benefit from state subsidies but not airports or airlines.

Bisignani said recent experience showed BAA needed to be better prepared.

"BAA's efforts to protect itself against such a crisis were insufficient. They were not prepared for the extra work related to security being reinforced to such a level."
Bisignani also called for more international cooperation, saying, "International cooperation was the key to last week's success. We need more of it. We need more harmonization at the international level. Terrorism is not going to disappear and the threats posed are going to change."

Source: Governments Should Pay For Extra Security - IATA -

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