Following the UK and US bans on the carriage of large electronic devices in cabin from specific airports/ countries, AACO emphasizes that our main commitment continues to be for safe and secure travel and we believe that governments have the right to invoke measures when a clear security threat arises. Yet we strongly believe that governments need to be aware of the threat and guidelines need to be developed and put in place in order to avoid the proliferation of the threat to locations not yet identified and avoid also inconvenience to passengers and to bring back normalcy to the process of air transport.
Having that commitment and belief in mind, AACO communicated last Monday with ICAO, IATA and the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC), in addition to individual affected governments by the ban, whereby we, first, urged ICAO to gather the relevant states to the ban with the objective to develop measures that will help restore normalcy to the transport process while simultaneously shield air transport from emerging threats.
Second, we urged ICAO to seek clarification and guidance from the US and UK authorities on the nature of the threat that prompted the ban and to involve all the authorities concerned to put in place measures to prevent the exposure of air transport to such threats. We also sought ,through ICAO, from the states invoking the ban to clarify what are the measures that the countries which are not affected by the ban are taking so that the countries affected by it can implement and mitigate the new threat.
Third, we communicated with ACAC to as well urge and support ICAO in developing such measures.
AACO also communicated with the affected Arab Civil Aviation Authorities to work through the relevant ICAO panels and the ICAO Council to address the relevant root causes of the new threats that led to the ban and issue standards to mitigate those threats on the global level.
We understand that there are many questions that can be raised about the coherence of how this ban was introduced differently by the invoking states, but it’s not up to AACO to question that coherence; it’s up to the governments and their global organization, ICAO, to address them and see how this new perceived threat can be mitigated.