International Civil Aviation Organization says it supports globally uniform regulations but acknowledges restrictions are at individual discretion.
It is for each country to decide whether to take security measures such as the British and U.S. partial ban on electronics in commercial airplanes, global aviation authorities said on Wednesday.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations, said in a statement that it supports “global uniformity” in regulations in order to facilitate international travel. But it added that such restrictions must be at the “discretion” of ICAO member states.
The ICAO noted that the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which outlines rules for airlines and airport authorities in 191 countries, already “stipulates that passengers and cabin baggage must be screened.” The organization continually assesses threats and risks and adjusts regulations to “address new and emerging threats.” But individual states also have a “responsibility to keep the level of threat to civil aviation under constant review and to adjust relevant aviation security provisions accordingly.”
On Tuesday, Washington and London announced a ban on laptops and computer tablets in cabins on flights from Turkey, as well as several countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Canada and France are reviewing allies’ intelligence as they mull similar measures.
Paradoxically, the ICAO emphasized that its work on the transport of hazardous materials, “notably incidents involving devices containing lithium batteries may be more easily mitigated in the cabin than in checked baggage.”
“Finding an effective balance between safety and security approaches is always a priority in global aviation,” the ICAO concluded.