The Second Cycle of USAP Audits


The results of the audit follow-up visits demonstrated that, overall, States had made improvements in their obligations to meet Annex 17 Standards. However, varying levels of improvement were identified between regions, and, in many cases, between States within a region. States having difficulties in addressing deficiencies identified during their audit were offered the opportunity to request assistance from ICAO through the Implementation Support and Development ‑ Security (ISD-SEC) Programme in coordination with the Technical Co-operation Programme.


In recognizing that the USAP had proven to be instrumental in identifying aviation security concerns and providing recommendations for their resolution, the 36th Session of the ICAO Assembly, in Resolution A36-20: Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies related to the safeguarding of international civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference, since superseded by Assembly Resolution A37-17, requested the ICAO Council to ensure the continuation of the USAP following the initial cycle of audits, which ended in 2007. 


Aviation security audits under the ongoing ICAO USAP second cycle commenced in January 2008 and were completed in June 2013. The primary objectives of the second-cycle audits were to:​


a)​  determine the State’s capability for aviation security oversight by assessing whether the critical elements of an aviation security oversight system had been implemented effectively;

b) determine the State’s degree of compliance with Annex 17 Standards and the security‑related provisions of Annex 9;

c) assess the State’s adherence to security procedures, guidance material and security‑related practices associated with the relevant ICAO SARPs; and

d) provide recommendations to the audited State on how to improve its aviation security system and security oversight capabilities.


A total of 177 audits of ICAO Member States were conducted under the second cycle of USAP audits, as well as an audit of the Macao Special Administrative Region of China and an assessment of the European Commission aviation security inspection system. It should be noted that, as was the case in the first cycle of USAP audits, it was not possible to conduct a second-cycle audit of all ICAO Member States. Some States were not audited due to their security level, as assigned by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS). In other cases, an analysis of first-cycle audit and follow-up mission results, and/or a review of CAPs and information supplied in Pre-Audit Questionnaires (PAQs), identified certain States that would benefit from referral to the ISD-SEC Programme for the provision of appropriate assistance prior to the conduct of a USAP audit.​​


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