Air Travel Safety Measures Explored

Manila Bulletin, September 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

Air Travel Safety Measures Explored


MONTREAL (AFP) - Travelers one day will be able to stow their shampoo in a carry-on and catch a flight without taking off their belts and shoes, aviation officials say. But not yet.

Delegates to a ''high-level conference on aviation security'' that started Wednesday in Montreal, headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), were seeking measures to prevent terrorist strikes.

But they are not expected to unveil big changes that would affect most airline travelers, ICAO chief Raymond Benjamin told AFP.

And the challenges facing air travel are going to grow exponentially, he warned. The number of air passengers worldwide is expected to double over the next 15 years.

''We need to find a sustainable safety system'' because if current air safety measures stay in place ''airports will end up seeing greater congestion problems,'' Benjamin said.

''The threat to civil aviation is constant'' and worldwide, he stressed, noting alerts issued in 2009 and 2010.

The ICAO's response to the need for better safety measures has come in the form of technological improvements.

The latest body scanners, for example, no longer reveal details of the passengers' bodies, which for some was an invasion of privacy.

And there are security lanes through which certain passengers can move without stopping, or taking off their coat or shoes.

There is also passenger information sharing. The United States and European Union have had an information sharing agreement in effect for some time despite criticism from privacy advocates. …

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