September 24, 2012
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has adopted a plan to modernize airport screening that closely matches the Checkpoint of the Future concept unveiled last year by the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA).
Like IATA, ICAO’s model relies on a risk-based approach that combines technology with an improved screening process. The plans differ in their expression of target dates: IATA sets goals for 2014, 2017 and 2020, while ICAO refers to near-term, intermediate, and long-term goals.
ICAO gave its stamp of approval at its High-Level Conference on Aviation Security this month in Montreal, calling the plan a “recommended tool for states to use as they develop future screening within their countries,” says Ken Dunlap, IATA’s global director of security and travel facilitation. The plan earned the endorsement of various industry groups and governments, including the U.S. and China.
“I think the importance of what happened at ICAO is [that]. . . it started to set into motion the regulatory background for taking a look at next-generation screening ideas and starting to get those rolled into the airport,” Dunlap tells Aviation Week.
IATA has spent the better part of the year shifting Checkpoint of the Future to “an IATA-supported but industry-led project” involving airports, airlines, security equipment manufacturers and international governments, Dunlap adds. A 13-member advisory board for the initiative includes representatives from each of the sectors, including the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Specific checkpoint project features include known traveler programs, biometric matching of passengers and travel documents, and the collection of passenger information for immigration and customs, according to IATA. The first trial, which focused on biometric identification, concluded last week at Geneva International Airport; another is set for next month at London Heathrow, Dunlap says.