MONTRÉAL, 23 November 2011 ─ At a meeting in Moscow on 21 and 22 November, European Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) committed to a wide-ranging strategy aimed at significantly improving aviation security at the national and regional levels.
This Regional Conference on Aviation Security was the third in a series of similar meetings around the world aimed at implementing an ICAO Assembly Declaration on Aviation Security adopted as a global framework to deal with new and emerging threats through greater international cooperation on passenger and cargo security.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mr. Sergei Ivanov, emphasized that the conference was not only timely, it was absolutely necessary. He was confident that “effective action against terrorist threats and acts of unlawful interference in air transport activity is possible only through the concerted action of all members of the aviation community”.
Raymond Benjamin, ICAO Secretary General, told delegates that the “priorities of States are ICAO’s priorities”. He stressed the need for enhanced cooperation to respond to the continuing threat of terrorism.
In a joint statement, the 14 States emphasized that “risks to the security of international air transport must be addressed through proactive and holistic means to detect threats, prevent unlawful interference, assure the timely response to attacks and attempted attacks when they occur and ensure air transport system resilience”.
Accordingly, the Moscow meeting committed to a series of initiatives, including risk-based security measures, more rapid sharing of security-critical information among government and industry stakeholders, exchanges of best practices, enhanced security training and assistance to States in capacity building and strengthening of national security systems.
Participants stressed the need to reduce costly disruptions and delays caused by repetitive security checks, through modern detection technologies, one-stop security arrangements and more robust identity management and document validation systems. Agreement was reached on the need to quickly end restrictions on the carriage of liquids, gels and aerosols in cabin baggage.
Concerning cargo, the focus will be on enhancing supply chain security by identifying and securing high-risk cargo, increasing collaboration with customs and border control authorities, while expanding existing arrangements with the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The regional conferences are expected to culminate in a global high-level security conference in Montréal from 12 to 14 September 2012.
Participating States were Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian Federation, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. A number of international organizations and industry associations also took part in the discussions, including the European Union (EU), European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA). Experts from the United States were also on hand to discuss partnership opportunities that could benefit aviation security.