IATA DG: electronic ban Creates ‘severe’ commercial distortions

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IATA said the US and UK governments should “urgently find alternatives” to the carry-on electronics bans announced by both countries last week.

Speaking March 28 at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said “there was no consultation [with airlines] and little coordination by governments” before the two bans went into effect. The US emergency directive bans electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from the cabin on nonstop flights to the US from 10 Middle East and North African airports. The UK ban is similar, but it excludes airports in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar that are included in the US ban.

“We are asking some questions that underpin confidence in our security measures,” de Juniac said. “Why don’t the US and the UK have a common list of airports? How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others, especially on flights originating at a common airport?” He added that “surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively at airport checkpoints.”

De Juniac said the US and UK “measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate,” adding, “Even in the short term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions they create are severe. We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics … We must find a better way. And governments must act quickly.”

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