Monday, January 30, 2017

IATA seeks clarification on US executive order on travel

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has asked the United States Government to clarify the recent Executive Order issued on travelling into the country.

IATA said the order was issued without prior coordination or warning, causing confusion among both airlines and travellers.

The apex aviation body made this known in a statement released on its website and obtained in Lagos on Monday.

The Executive Order was signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 27 amidst criticisms from opponents of his administration.

For 120 days, the order bars the entry of any refugee who is awaiting resettlement in the U.S. It also prohibits all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. until further notice.

Additionally, it bans the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category.

These countries were named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as “countries of concern.”
But the executive order also makes clear those seven countries are just a starting point for a likely broader ban.
The order exempts diplomats and members of international organizations from the ban.
The order also directs the secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a 30-day review to determine which countries do not provide “adequate information” for its citizens to be issued visas to enter the US.

Trump also stopped the admission of all refugees to the United States for four months.

However, IATA in the statement, said the order had changed entry requirements for the US immediately and significantly.

The statement said :”It also placed additional burdens on airlines to comply with unclear requirements, to bear implementation costs and to face potential penalties for non-compliance.

“We ask for early clarity from the US administration on the current situation.

“Moreover, we urge all governments to provide sufficient advance coordination of changes in entry requirements so that travelers can clearly understand them and airlines can efficiently implement them.​”

According to the statement, IATA is working with its 265 member airlines for safe, secure, efficient and sustainable global air transport links.

It said as a matter of principle, the organisation works for the free movement of trade and people across borders.

“IATA also recognises that states have the right and duty to protect their citizens by enforcing their borders.

“Where this has implications for air travel, we work with our member airlines to help them comply with these requirements efficiently and effectively.

“Global systems and procedures exist to support this activity. IATA’s Timatic online solution, for example, is a global database for travel document requirements.

” It is updated constantly and used by airlines and travel agents around the world.

“These systems can only support the efficient implementation of any government’s directives by the global air transport industry with advance coordination as well as with detailed and consistent operational information,” the statement said.