APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), a four-decade old international airline trade association, called for immediate government-approved security solutions for the airline electronics ban announced this week by the United States and United Kingdom. IATA calculations indicate 393 flights per week impacted by the electronics ban. By APEX load-factor calculations, this translates into more than three million affected airline passengers per year. With airline and government coordination, APEX believes that solutions may be rapidly implemented by airlines to further increase security and allow personal electronics on-board.
“The U.S. and U.K. this week pointed to a problem in airline security by banning electronics on certain flights. When we take away personal electronic devices from passengers, we are bowing to a potential threat rather than providing an acceptable security solution.” APEX CEO Joe Leader stated. “Chemical detection machines utilized worldwide can detect illicit items in electronics. Turning on electronics checks functionality and non-functioning electronics could be banned from flights. The expense of hand-searching every carry-on for the personal electronics ban could instead be directed to a long-term solution that serves airline passengers and safety.”
APEX believes that without viable solutions provided to airlines, the electronics ban may spread well beyond the intended scope. Since the existing security scope includes individuals with travel privileges to the U.S. and U.K., these same individuals could connect via other airports where on-board personal electronics are not banned.
“Every threat placed against global air carriers has been met with viable solutions,” said Leader. “We now globally screen every checked bag, carefully scan all carry-ons, restrict liquids, conduct body-scans, and regularly conduct chemical analysis checks on items. When passengers connect internationally, they are frequently scanned again. Placing items into the cargo hold does not fully address the issue with a passenger-centric solution.”
In APEX’s global survey released last year, airline passengers frequently bring their personal electronics devices on-board aircraft for use in-flight:
- 43% of worldwide airline passengers bring a tablet device on-board with 70% of these passengers using their tablet device in-flight;
- 38% of worldwide airline passengers bring a laptop computer on-board with 42% of these passengers using their laptop in-flight; and
- 22% of worldwide airline passengers bring e-Readers on-board with 77% of these passengers using their e-Reader in-flight.
APEX has directly engaged key U.S. and U.K. government officials on a solutions-oriented approach to make aircraft more secure and prevent the spread of the electronics ban. Until an aligned security solution has been developed by the U.S. and U.K. governments, APEX encourages full compliance of the ban by airlines, airports, and passengers.
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About the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX)
APEX serves every major airline in the world encompassing a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members. Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and are improving every aspect of the airline experience: from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. APEX works to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition. APEX operates globally with staff offices based in Atlanta, Beijing, Chicago, London, Montreal, New York, Southern California, Santiago, and Washington. For more information, please visit apex.aero.
Featured image credited to istock.com/JakeOlimb