Airlines and airports should not pay for the increased ground-based security measures that have been put in place after recent terrorism incidents, says Thomas Reynaert, the managing director of Airlines for Europe (A4E).
"As A4E we would argue that airlines shouldn’t have to pay for this ground-based security," Reynaert said during a presentation at Routes Europe in Belfast today, citing the response to terrorism-related incidents in Brussels and Paris in recent years.
"We would argue it is up to the government to come up with how they will pay for it," he says.
According to Reynaert, increased security, particularly the technology that enables it, has become a "political priority" and the cost burden should sit further back down the chain.
"Ground-based security starts with people not being integrated with society," he says, adding: "It’s not necessarily down to even airports. There’s a whole phase of security threat before people actually get to the airport.
"There is no rationale whatsoever for airlines to pay for additional ground-based security," he continues.
Reynaert also took the opportunity to reiterate the airline association's focus on ATC reform, the reduction of airport fees and an end to aviation taxes.
A4E represents the operational interests of 14 European airlines and airline groups, including Air France-KLM, EasyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair.