that promotes global air cargo supply chain security
standards around the world to make cargo safe, secure
and efficient. It offers assistance by creating templates,
documents and best practices, tailoring them to the
needs of countries to allow them meet regulatory
It evaluates the strength of a country’s aviation security infrastructure and works with the civil aviation
authorities to ensure cargo is “sterile” until loaded.
It does this by identifying the gaps within a security
regime, which it then helps seal.
Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding to commit to full implementation of its Secure
Freight program during the IATA conference. Chile,
Egypt, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Arab
Emirates are also set to start their own programs and
IATA Brazil and China are showing interest.
For all the pressing needs to work collaboratively,
however, it still will be difficult to find a consensus
across so many players. Ibrahim Mohammed Salleh,
senior VP, cargo operations at MASKargo, said the
problem lies not so much in hardware compatibility
but in changing culture. “The need to have a political
will to succeed . . . it’s the key,” he said.
Carolina Ramirez, assistant director Secure Freight,
similarly acknowledges that bringing so many ele-
ments to the same table is a challenge. “People will
need to change; adaption to change needs time . . .
you need trust and [it needs] political will,” she said.
“You have to start with one country, one pilot.”
Another reason for the shift to cooperation is
security and safety. The Yemen printer bomb, which
Tyler referred to as air cargo’s 9/11, has meant more
regulations and the best way to deal with them is to
work with, rather than against, regulators, Tyler said.
“It is important that we work together on industry
solutions, or we will have regulatory solutions
imposed on us,” Tyler said. “The good news is that
regulators are listening to and involving industry in
discussions on technology.”
However, some initiatives being considered are
problematic. European discussions about a Red List
of states from which cargo would be banned would
be a step in the wrong direction, Tyler said, because it
would isolate those countries who need help the most
and put further pressure on the capacity capabilities
of neighboring countries.
Balancing this, the EU’s news rule on security
measures, EC 859/2011, for cargo from non-EU
countries has met with some approval, Tyler said.
However, he went on to say that while what he
called “the cooperative intent” is appreciated, the
air cargo industry is now burdened with the task of
auditing many thousands of entities within a times-
“PeoPle will need to change . . .
You have to start with one
countrY, one pilot.”
assistant direCtor seCure Freight
cale that he said was “impossible.” A cross-industry
approach might have avoided this dilemma.
“We need to focus on securing the whole supply
chain and to recognize that this is a long-term process,” Tyler said. “There is nothing to gain by forcing
a premature solution.”
Safety is another attention area for the new collaborative approach. The symposium was followed by a
session of the IATA Dangerous Goods Board, which
has spent 50 years setting industry standards and best
practices for the safe movement of special and dangerous goods.
Increasingly, common lithium batteries pose a
potentially dangerous threat; something not helped
by a lack of awareness about them along the supply
chain, a situation that IATA is working to change.
“We want to engage with the battery manufacturers, the cell manufacturers, the industry people”
Dave Brennan, assistant director cargo and safety
There were two accidents involving lithium batteries last year. One involved a UPS Boeing 747F
in Dubai, the other an Asiana aircraft operating
between Seoul and Shanghai. The preliminary report
for the UPS flight suggests the batteries had not been
listed as dangerous goods although IATA officials are
keen to stress this is only an indication and not yet
“Concerns over shipping lithium batteries are a
good example of a situation in which the supply chain
needs to work together with regulators to manage
safety throughout the shipping process,” Tyler said.
But Tyler also warned that the correct balance
must be maintained so that cargo carriers can operate
efficiently as well securely. “First, we must preserve
speed along with security. Entire industry sectors
have built their business models on the availability
of fast air cargo supply chain links. If we don’t keep
the speed, business models around the world would
change dramatically—and many could disappear. The
second element is the need for a multi-layered approach that includes the entire value chain.”