IATA calls for alternatives to electronic restriction on certain flights

GENEVA, March 30 (PNA/Xinhua) -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday called on governments to urgently find alternatives to recently announced measures by the United States and Britain to restrict the carry-on of large electronic items on certain flights departing the Middle East and North Africa.

"We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, in a statement.

De Juniac estimated that "the current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate. Even in the short term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness," adding that "the commercial distortions they create are severe."

IATA also expressed frustration over the process used by governments to put in place the security measures which was woefully lacking. "The industry came together quickly to implement the new requirements. That was a challenge because there was no prior consultation and little coordination by governments," said de Juniac.

"While governments have the primary responsibility for security, we share the priority of keeping passengers, crew and aircraft secure," he added, suggesting that cooperation between industry and gouvernments yields a better result.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department announced last week that most electronic devices are banned as carry-on items on U.S.-bound non-stop flights departing from ten airports in eight Middle East and African countries, citing anti-terrorism concerns.

On its part, Britain announced a ban on the carry-on of certain electronic devices on Britain-bound flights from six Middle East countries. (PNA/Xinhua)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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