Home » Aviation, Breaking News » ICAO conference recommends new aviation security and anti-terrorism measures

A series of new agreements and recommendations to ensure the security of global air transport operations has been drafted by the world’s most prominent aviation security administrations and bodies during the recent 2018 ICAO AVSEC Week, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

More than 500 delegates representing 107 countries and 22 international organizations participated in ICAO’s Second High-level Conference on Aviation Security (HLCAS/2) on November 29 and 30 to finalize recommendations for the new security standards and strategies.

The set of conclusions and recommendations will be submitted to the ICAO Council for further consideration and approval ahead of the 40th ICAO Assembly in 2019. These recommendations were reflected in the HLCAS/2 Communiqué ​endorsed by the attending delegates.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the ICAO Council, highlighted the importance of information sharing, adding that “the present threat environment is more dynamic, diverse, and challenging than ever before.

He tasked HLCAS/2 participants to define security measures which are effective, efficient, operationally viable, and economically sustainable, and assess the impacts of any considered measures on air transport’s low-risk passengers.

Areas of focus he stressed in this regard included threats from insiders and remotely piloted aircraft systems; chemical, biological and radiological attacks; and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The communiqué reaffirmed “the critical importance of aviation security in the overall global civil aviation system” especially in view of “the continued security threats and challenges faced by the international air transport sector.”

It stressed that global terrorism and threats against international air transport operations such as insider and cyber threats continue to exist and evolve, and need to be addressed, taking into account passenger traffic growth.

Moreover, awareness of those threats and associated risks must be enhanced through information sharing between states and with stakeholders, and through continued attention to the Global Risk Context Statement.

The communiqué also pointed to the strong support for the implementation of the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP), adopted in November 2017, and how the GASeP provides a new opportunity to further strengthen the objectives and methodologies of the ICAO’s Universal Security Audit Program.

It likewise highlighted how the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) acknowledged the importance of enhancing aviation security to combat terrorist threats to international civil aviation and address concerns of foreign terrorist fighters by adopting UNSC Resolution 2309 (2016) in September 2016 and Resolution 2396 (2017) in December 2017.

Other issues tackled in the communiqué include the need for further cooperation and coordination between ICAO and the UN to contribute to global security efforts and avoid duplication, and the need for all stakeholders to further develop new and innovative approaches to strengthen aviation security and counter ongoing and emerging threats.

All stakeholder efforts must also continue to be made towards effective aviation security measures, facilitation of efficient passenger travel, and movement of cargo.

The importance of strengthened cooperation and collaboration among states and stakeholders in providing technical assistance and capacity-building to states in need under the No Country Left Behind initiative was also underlined.

“Our message to the world could not be clearer,” said ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu in her closing remarks to the conference. “ICAO, its Member States, the industry and our other partners are addressing the threat to civil aviation with great determination, ambition, and unity of purpose.”

She also focused on the importance of striking an effective balance between the effectiveness of security measures and their impacts on the air transport customer base, noting that “from the consumers’ standpoint, it is nothing short of vital that we address security risks with solutions which pose a minimum of passenger or shipper inconvenience. Any other approach will not be sustainable.”

Photo: Minnaert

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