The Critical Elements

Aviation security oversight is a function which enables States to ensure the effective implementation of security-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained in the Annexes to the Chicago Convention (primarily Annex 17, but including the security-related provisions of Annex 9) and related ICAO documents.​


An individual State’s responsibility for aviation security oversight is the foundation upon which global aviation security is built. A lack of appropriate aviation security oversight in one Member State can have an impact on international civil aviation operations worldwide. Aviation security oversight also ensures that the national aviation industry provides security levels equal to or better than those defined by the SARPs. With respect to aviation security, it is particularly important to maintain worldwide uniform standards, since the level of protection deriving from the implementation of security standards is only as strong as the weakest link in the global aviation network. Lack of aviation security oversight in one State therefore threatens the security of international civil aviation operations.


There are eight critical elements to an effective State aviation security oversight system. These encompass the whole spectrum of civil aviation security activities. The critical elements and their associated components are:



CE-1: Aviation Security Legislation


·      Provision of a comprehensive and effective legislative framework, consistent with the environment and complexity of the State’s civil aviation operations.

·      Establishment and Implementation of Annex 17 Standards and relevant security-related Standards contained in other Annexes.

·       Implementation of the State’s aviation security requirements.


CE-2: Aviation Security Programmes and Regulations


·      Provision of adequate national-level programmes and regulations to address national requirements emanating from aviation security legislation.

·      Provision of standardized implementation procedures, equipment and infrastructures in conformance with Annex 17 Standards (and security-related provisions contained in other Annexes).


CE-3: State Appropriate Authority for Aviation Security and its Responsibilities


·      Designation of an appropriate national authority for aviation security matters, supported by appropriate technical and non-technical personnel and the provision of adequate financial resources.

·      The State appropriate authority must have aviation security regulatory functions, objectives and policies, and must develop and maintain an effective National Civil Aviation Security Programme, National Civil Aviation Security Training Programme and National Civil Aviation Security Quality Control Programme. It must also ensure the promulgation and application of relevant regulations, the allocation of tasks and the coordination of responsibilities between government agencies.


CE-4: Personnel Qualifications and Training


·      Establishment of minimum knowledge and experience requirements for technical personnel performing State aviation security oversight and regulatory functions.

·      Provision of appropriate training to such personnel to maintain and enhance their competence (including initial, on-the-job and recurrent training).

·      Requirements for and provision of training to the aviation industry on the implementation of applicable aviation security requirements.


CE-5: Provision of Technical Guidance, Tools and Security Critical Information


·      Provision of technical guidance, tools and security-critical information, as applicable, to technical personnel to enable them to perform security oversight functions in accordance with established requirements and in a standardized manner.

·      Provision of technical guidance on the implementation of applicable regulations by the appropriate authority.


CE-6: Certification and Approval Obligations


·      Implementation of processes and procedures to ensure that personnel and organizations performing an aviation security activity meet the established requirements before they are allowed to conduct the relevant activity, such as the certification of screeners, the approval of security programmes and the requirements for recurrent certification and approvals.


CE-7: Quality Control Obligations


·       Implementation of processes, such as audits, inspections, surveys and tests, to proactively ensure that aviation security entities continue to meet the established requirements and operate at the level of competency and security required by the State. This includes the monitoring of designated personnel who perform security oversight functions on behalf of the appropriate authority.


CE-8: Resolution of Security Concerns


·       Implementation of processes and procedures to resolve identified deficiencies, including the ability to:

o  analyse security deficiencies;

o  provide recommendations to prevent reoccurrence;

o  track rectification; and

o  respond to acts of unlawful interference.

·       Ensure the effective implementation of corrective actions, and take enforcement action when appropriate.


Additional information on the critical elements can be found in ICAO Document 10047 – Aviation Security Oversight Manual. 

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