Success of global aviation rests on safety, security, sustainability and global standards. Above anything else, these are my top priorities.
To start with, flying is safe. But it is not free from accidents. Every accident makes us even more determined to make our safe industry even safer.
Our efforts in this direction include strengthening our flagship IATA Operational Safety Audit and progressing the Global Aviation Data Management project or GADM. Both these initiatives will help airlines to more easily exchange safety information. And by collecting and analyzing aviation data we can identify and mitigate risks.
In tandem with safety is the priority of security. Over the last year two airports have been attacked, an attempt to bomb a jet failed, terrorists laid claim to downing another, and popular tourist destinations have seen bloodshed.
Flying is secure. I fly with confidence and you should too. But there are risks and challenges—insider threats, landside exposure at airports, overflight of conflict zones, and cyber security. Efficient airport checkpoints are important. And our Smart Security program is making them more effective and convenient. But that alone is not enough to stay a step ahead of those who would do us harm.
A recent UN Security Council Resolution reminds governments that keeping aviation secure is integral to a state’s responsibility for national security. Governments can and must do more—upping their game on intelligence gathering and sharing vital information among themselves and with industry.
Industry also has a role. And you will see IATA becoming more active in this space.