The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to “urgently” find alternatives to US and UK measures on restrictions of large electronic items on certain flights.
The aviation trade body said the current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate.
The ruling was bought in last week by US and UK governments on security precautions. The UK banned passengers on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia from carrying an electronic device larger than a mobile phone in their hand luggage.
IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac wants governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics.
“With the measures now in place, our passengers and member airlines are asking valid questions,” said de Juniac, who was speaking to the Montreal Council on foreign relations. “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, including flights departing from the same airport? And surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively? The current situation is not acceptable and will not maintain the all-important confidence of the industry or of travellers. We must find a better way. And Governments must act quickly,” he said.
The regulations were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets.
De Juniac added that IATA is "deeply concerned with political developments pointing to a future of more restricted borders and protectionism."
Airlines affected by the ban include Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad.
US airlines have long argued that these carriers are unfairly subsidised by their governments, which the Gulf airlines deny.
Sign up to BBT’s twice-weekly newsletter