The Vice President of International Affairs for Etihad Aviation Group, and President of Hermes, Vijay Poonoosamy, presented “Making air travel more secure and efficient” at the Thirteenth Symposium and Exhibition on ICAO under the Traveler Identification Program of the event, Moderator Session 7: Border Control Management and Future in Travel. The event took place at the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal, Canada, from October 24-26, 2017.
Here, Worldtourismwire shares his presentation:
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UNWTO has shown that destinations worldwide welcomed 598 million international tourists in the first six months of 2017, 36 million more than in the same period of 2016.
IATA stated two days ago that the 4 billion air passengers expected to fly this year are expected to double to 7.8 billion in 2036.
With the formidable growth of both passenger numbers and security threats it is self-evident that much more needs to be done to diligently develop a strategic and holistic roadmap to promote safe, secure, sustainable and seamless aviation.
In line with UN Security Council Resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2309 (2016) that re-affirmed the importance of border controls to combat terrorism, the interdependent elements of the ICAO Traveler Identification Program (TRIP) Strategy demonstrate that a coherent and coordinated approach to a robust traveler identification management is essential.
All the Stakeholders of Travel and Tourism have a vested interest in safe and secure operations and have safety and security as the number one priority.
Let’s not talk of balancing security and facilitation as this suggests compromise on either or even both.
Let’s focus on promoting a robust, efficient, cost effective, inclusive and harmonized global process to enhance security.
Let’s develop a global program to link international security with global connectivity while leaving no country behind.
To have a wholly automated, electronic platform, built on verified biometric data, require that a number of areas be addressed, namely, the harmonization of intelligence and data-sharing, the global implementation of common standards set by ICAO and the shift to a secure digital process and a single application system.
Governments should agree that a single token that can be used throughout the journey, including airline and airport processes, security, border inspection.
Interoperability between countries and systems (customs, immigration, security, airline and airport systems), greater use of available programs such as Interpol’s I-Checkit and greater uptake of on-line and mobile processing are also required.
These necessary policy shifts require additional cooperation and collaboration among various agencies of governments, international organizations, the Travel & Tourism industry/businesses and travelers. Moreover, national governments need to implement the international standards established by ICAO and help ICAO assist emerging economies in implementing those standards.
The cross-border movement of people will then not only become more efficient, but it will also enable public safety officials to direct more attention and resources to the risk-based identification of threats.
As a result, travelers will have a secure and pleasant experience.