Pursuant to Assembly Resolution A33-1: Declaration on misuse of civil aircraft as weapons of destruction and other terrorist acts involving civil aviation, from 2002 to 2007, 181 Member States and one Special Administrative Region benefited from the ICAO security audits under the first cycle of the USAP (nine Member States could not be audited during the first cycle due to the United Nations security phase in effect). The objective of the Programme was to promote global aviation security through the auditing of Member States, on a regular basis, to determine the status of the implementation of ICAO SARPs. The USAP first-cycle audits were designed to determine the degree of compliance of a State in implementing Annex 17 Standards, and the extent to which a State's implementation of its aviation security system is sustainable through the establishment of appropriate legislation, national policies and an appropriate aviation security authority provided with inspection and enforcement capabilities.
A programme of follow-up visits with respect to the first cycle of audits was initiated in 2005 and completed in 2009. One hundred and seventy-two follow-up visits were conducted in order to validate the implementation of States’ corrective action plans (CAPs) to address the recommendations resulting from the audits and to provide support to States in remedying identified deficiencies. These visits were normally conducted by the ICAO Regional Offices in the second year following the initial audits. Several States did not receive follow-up visits, either due to their security level, as assigned by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), to the absence of a CAP, or to the lack of progress in the implementation of the CAP.
The follow-up visits revealed significant improvement in the rectification of the deficiencies that were identified during the initial audits. However, a substantial amount of work remained in order to achieve full compliance with all Annex 17 Standards. To be highlighted, in particular, is the need for States to continue their efforts in establishing comprehensive security oversight systems to ensure the effective implementation of national aviation security requirements and the SARPs contained in Annex 17.