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Responsibility for security must be spread throughout supply chain: IATA

3-Nov-2010 10:48 AM

IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani stated, following the recent discovery of explosive devises in cargo US-bound shipments, responsibility for security must be spread throughout the supply chain, beginning with the manufacturer, and airports shouldn’t be regarded as the first line of defence (Bloomberg, 02/03-Nov-2010). Mr Bisignani also said the technology such as oversized X-ray machines to screen the cargo containers exists, but it is taking too long to approve it for airport use (gmanews, 02-Nov-2010). An estimate for the number of machines required to check all cargo carried by the world's airlines was not specified, however a single high-radiation machine is likely to cost USD5-USD6 million, according to manufacturer estimates.

IATA: "Industry is cooperating with government directives on targeted actions for Yemen-origin cargo. If there are any longer-term adjustments required, we must do so with all the facts in hand with measures targeted to meet specific risks. Over the weeks and months, as governments learn more about the threat, we must continue to work together to implement appropriate solutions." Giovanni Bisignani, Director General. Source: Bloomberg, 02-Nov-2010

Meanwhile, US Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole extended for another week a temporary halt on all cargo departing Yemen to the US. South Korea heightened security checks on cargo originating from Yemen and other countries considered to be dangerous. Japan has also ordered carriers to follow US regulations and block any US-bound freight from Yemen. The Nigerian Government issued (01-Nov-2010) a directive instructing full-scale screening of all cargoes leaving the country for the US via Europe (All Africa, 02-Nov-2010). It also instructed that all incoming cargo from countries of security concern must also be subjected to the same level of screening.

Airports Council International (ACI) condemned all recent attempts to sabotage cargo aircraft using explosive devices, supporting practical measures to "ensure the transport of goods to markets in a secure environment, facilitating the essential flows of air cargo to the global economy" (Transport Joirnal, 01-Nov-2010).

Qatar Airways said there was a “possibility” that the explosive device discovered in Dubai may have travelled to the city from Yemen on board another carrier’s aircraft (Bloomberg, 02-Nov-2010). CEO Al Baker stated: “There’s a possibility that this package actually wasn’t carried by Qatar Airways" and the original information on reports the carrier had flown explosives on board two passenger flights was “immature and not properly researched.”