MONTRÉAL, 12 September 2012 – Stressing the need for effective and more sustainable security, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) brought together more than 700 officials today for the start of its High-level Conference on Aviation Security.
Ministers and senior security officials representing 135 countries and 27 international organizations will be seeking agreement on a number of critical priorities at the three-day ICAO security event, including the implementation of new air cargo security measures. These have been developed collaboratively by aviation and cargo sector experts over the past two years, largely in response to a 2010 incident where explosives were discovered in printer cartridges in air cargo shipments.
“Civil aviation remains an attractive target for terrorists,” said Roberto Kobeh González, President of the ICAO Council. “It is an essential mode of transport that contributes significantly to worldwide economic and social development. Clearly, as terrorist threats evolve, we must continually adapt and reinforce our strategies and improve our level of collaboration so that aviation remains a secure means of moving people and goods quickly and affordably.”
The Conference agenda will focus on how to implement tighter security measures but on a more sustainable, long-term basis. The goal in this area is to agree on coordinated, risk-based approaches which will provide solutions that are both more effective and efficient for airports, airlines and passengers.
“The comprehensive sharing of passenger information and other data, in conjunction with advanced risk analyses and the latest screening innovations, point us to a future where aviation can be as secure as it is today but less obtrusive to industry and passengers,” commented Kobeh. “This is an important goal from a security sustainability standpoint and this high-level conference will be very helpful in beginning to determine the practical, globally-agreed means of achieving it.”
Among other topics on their agenda, conference delegates will consider the threat posed by insiders such as airport and airline staff, the evolution of ICAO’s aviation security audit process, means of augmenting assistance to States experiencing security deficiencies and enhancing the security of passports.
The conference is the first high-level ICAO meeting on aviation security since early 2002, when Member States adopted a new and highly successful global security strategy following the 9/11 attacks. It also supports the implementation of the Declaration on Aviation Security adopted at ICAO’s 37th Assembly in 2010, and follows a series of regional consensus-building security events organized by ICAO during 2011 and 2012.