Communiqué of the ICAO High-level Conference on Aviation Security

Montréal, 12 to 14 September 2012


The High-level Conference on Aviation Security, convened by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at its Headquarters in Montréal, was held from 12 to 14 September 2012. The Conference was attended by over 700 participants representing 132 Member States, and 23 international and regional organizations and industry associations.


Acknowledging the critical role of civil aviation in global economic development and the various security challenges which the international air transport sector faces today, the Conference highlighted:

a) that credible threats exist and need to be addressed effectively to protect civil aviation;


b) that terrorism does not respect borders and if not mitigated, can cause the loss of life and injury to persons, seriously disrupt international air transport operations, result in significant damage to civil aviation equipment and facilities, and undermine public confidence in air transport;

c) Resolution A37-17, the Declaration on Aviation Security, and the ICAO Comprehensive Aviation Security Strategy (ICASS), which further enhance aviation security for the safeguarding of international civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference;

d) the Joint Statements adopted at ICAO Regional Aviation Security Conferences held in Bahrain, India, Malaysia, Russian Federation, Senegal and Venezuela;

e) the importance of the cooperation and coordination between ICAO, its Member States, international and regional organizations, industry and all other stakeholders to achieve a sustainable level of aviation security;

f) that all ICAO Member States are committed to compliance with the aviation security Standards and Recommended Practices in ICAO Annexes 17 — Security and 9 — Facilitation to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, and other aviation security conventions; and

g) that a balance should be maintained between the needs of security, facilitation, efficiency and effectiveness.

Mindful of these points, the Conference:

1) encouraged ICAO Member States and industry stakeholders to adopt a risk-based approach to aviation security;


2) welcomed the initiative taken by ICAO to establish a Risk Context Statement which provides valuable information to its Member States and offers a robust methodology for States to use in further developing their own national risk assessments, should they choose to use this methodology;

3) requested ICAO and its Member States to consider developing a more outcomes-based approach when regulating aviation security, as this would help them better define the security objectives of their measures;

4) strongly encouraged ICAO to expedite the adoption of new security Standards and Recommended Practices to mitigate the risk to air cargo and mail, based on the implementation of secure supply chain systems, common baseline security measures for both passenger and all-cargo aircraft, and enhanced security measures for cargo and mail considered to be high risk;


5) requested ICAO, the World Customs Organization, the Universal Postal Union and industry stakeholders to identify further synergies between aviation security, Customs and postal security requirements, with the objective of facilitating trade while assuring the security of air cargo and mail;

6) acknowledged that threats posed by insiders are real, and therefore urged ICAO Member States to implement effective mitigation measures, and to adopt a revised ICAO Standard on the screening of persons other than passengers as soon as practicable;

7) acknowledged the need for ICAO and its Member States to address the continued threat to international civil aviation posed by liquid, aerosol and gel (LAG) explosives, including the implementation of technological solutions needed to gradually lift restrictions on the carriage of LAGs in cabin baggage;

8) requested ICAO Member States to treat flights arriving from States where LAGs screening is applied in the same way as flights from States where LAGs restrictions are applied;

9) supported the transition of the ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) to a Continuous Monitoring Approach that combines a risk-based approach to auditing and continuous monitoring, while considering national and regional organization oversight capabilities;


10) requested ICAO to make the best use of USAP audit results for defining and targeting aviation security capacity-building activities for the benefit of Member States in need;

11) encouraged Member States to share USAP audit results in an appropriate and secure manner in order to target capacity-building and technical assistance efforts on those areas where they would do most good;


12) acknowledged the progress made in the implementation of the ICAO Aviation Security Strategy on Capacity Building, and requested ICAO to strengthen its efforts, with additional focus to be given to air cargo and mail security capacity-building activities;


13) encouraged ICAO Member States and relevant stakeholders such as regional organizations to enter into partnership agreements for the organization and delivery of capacity-building activities, encompassing all the parties concerned and including commitments to be made by all partners;


14) highlighted the importance of defining security measures which are effective, efficient, operationally viable, economically sustainable, and take into account the impact on passengers;


15) strongly encouraged ICAO Member States to explore with each other mutual recognition arrangements, including one-stop security, which recognize the equivalence of their aviation security measures where these achieve the same outcomes, and which are based on an agreed comprehensive and continuous validation process and effective exchange of information regarding their respective aviation security systems;


16) endorsed as key principles governing international aviation security cooperation: a) respect for the spirit of cooperation defined in bilateral and/or multilateral air services agreements; b) recognition of equivalent security measures; and c) focus on security outcomes;


17) encouraged ICAO Member States to enhance aviation security by standardizing formats for travel documents and for the electronic transmission of passenger data to State authorities while ensuring the protection of passengers’ privacy and civil liberties, and to enhance travel document security by participating in the electronic passport validation service known as the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD);

18) requested ICAO to further address emerging issues such as air traffic management security (i.e., the security of air navigation services and facilities), landside security, and cyber threats;

19) supported initiatives undertaken by ICAO, in cooperation with industry stakeholders and equipment manufacturers, to develop the next generation of passenger and cargo screening processes, taking into account technology developments and desired security outcomes, and to make recommendations for the modernization of regulatory frameworks as necessary; and

20) strongly encouraged States to ratify the latest aviation security international legal instruments, namely the Beijing Convention and the Beijing Protocol of 2010.

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