Progress on ICAO's Strategic Objectives — Security and Facilitation — Security



Amendment 15 to Annex 17 ― Security and related guidance


On 23 November 2016, the ICAO Council adopted Amendment 15 to Annex 17 — Security on the basis of text proposed by the Twenty-seventh Meeting of the Aviation Security Panel (AVSECP/27), which convened in Montréal from 14 to 18 March, and comments received during the State consultation period. This most recent amendment to Annex 17 elevates existing Recommended Practices on landside security to Standards, a decision that was taken in view of the escalating threat of terrorist attacks on landside areas of airports, combined with recent terrorist incidents in crowded places, both in airports and non-aviation locations. Other amendments to the Annex include new or revised provisions in the following areas: behaviour detection; innovation in aviation security; Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS); risk assessments; and cybersecurity.


For the first time, an amendment to Annex 17 is accompanied by an Implementation Task List and Impact Assessment, which can be found in the attachments to State letter AS 8/2.1-16/95 Confidential dated 13 December 2016. While there is already a solid body of aviation security guidance material to support the implementation of Annex 17, every effort is being made to finalize material currently in development so that it can be made available to security experts on a timely basis. For example, an updated ICAO Global Risk Context Statement (Fifth Edition) was issued in April, taking into account potential security threats and the global risk picture. Work is also progressing in finalizing the Tenth Edition of ICAO’s Aviation Security Manual (Doc 8973), which is envisaged to become available in mid-2017.


ICAO Civil Aircraft Operations Over Conflict Zones


The new guidance material entitled ICAO Civil Aircraft Operations Over Conflict Zones (First Edition) was issued in November to facilitate risk assessments by States and to enable States to exchange accurate and timely information regarding risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones. The guidance material covers the risk from both deliberate and unintentional attacks on civil aircraft. Other stand-alone aviation security guidance material that has not yet been consolidated into the Aviation Security Manual (Doc 8973) is available through the ICAO secure portal by accessing ICAO-NET, and selecting “Publications” and “Others”.


United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2309


The ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, briefed the UN Security Council during its 22 September 2016 ministerial meeting on “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: Aviation security”. This was the first time that ICAO had received an invitation to address the UN Security Council. The Secretary General briefed the Security Council on civil aviation security threats and risks; ICAO’s leadership through standard-setting, auditing and assistance; the Organization’s aviation security priorities and policies; the importance of coordinating the efforts of all entities with aviation security responsibilities at the national and international levels; and the need for ICAO to continue to provide assistance to States for aviation security enhancement within the framework of the No Country Left Behind initiative.


The UN Security Council unanimously adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2309 (2016) – Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: Aviation security. The Resolution affirms the responsibility of States to ensure the safety of air services operating within their territory and States’ interest to protect the safety of their citizens and nationals against terrorist attacks conducted against civil aviation, wherever these may occur, in accordance with international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It also affirms the role of ICAO as the United Nations organization responsible for developing international security standards, monitoring State implementation, and ICAO’s role in assisting States in complying with these standards, noting ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative and intention to develop a Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) as the future framework for progressive aviation security enhancement.


Cooperation and collaboration in air cargo matters


ICAO’s commitment to working cooperatively and collaboratively with other international bodies and industry stakeholders in the area of air cargo security and facilitation, as endorsed by the 39th Session of the Assembly in adopting Resolution A39-15, “Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies in the air transport field”, is evidenced in a number of initiatives in recent months that have involved the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and a range of other partners.


In 2016, the most significant of these initiatives was the third joint ICAO-WCO Conference on Air Cargo Security and Facilitation, “The Path to Effective Implementation”, held in July in Kuala Lumpur. Through a series of panel and information sessions, the Conference highlighted the need for aviation security administrations and customs to work together to achieve a practical and effective implementation strategy following a period of rapid regulatory change, addressing issues related to personnel training, effective screening and establishing a secure supply chain. The final Communiqué from the Conference emphasized the importance of maintaining competitiveness in an industry where speed is generally of essence, by promoting the use of e-documentation and the removal of duplicate regulatory requirements. Another achievement was the publication of the Second Edition of the ICAO-WCO brochure Moving Air Cargo Globally, a good introductory guide to the supply chain for freight and which includes a new section on the economics of air cargo.


The Joint ICAO-WCO Working Group on Advance Cargo Information continues to meet to consider the possibilities of analysing routine cargo data for security ends.




Developed in collaboration with industry partners, Resolution A39-19, “Addressing Cybersecurity in Civil Aviation” was adopted by the 39th Session of the Assembly as a means of demonstrating the will of ICAO and industry to address cyber threats through a horizontal, cross-cutting and functional approach involving the collective expertise of aviation security, air navigation, information and telecommunications technology security and other relevant communities. It aims to reaffirm the importance and urgency of protecting civil aviation’s critical infrastructure systems and data against cyber-attacks, and to obtain global commitment to action by ICAO, its Member States and industry stakeholders, with a view to addressing cybersecurity in civil aviation collaboratively and systemically and mitigating the associated threats and risks. It also encourages States and industry stakeholders to develop and participate in government/industry partnerships and mechanisms, nationally and internationally, for the systematic sharing of information on cyber threats, incidents, trends and mitigation efforts.


Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP)


A total of 24 USAP-Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) on-site and documentation-based audits were conducted in 2016, as well as two validation missions. A total of 50 States have now been audited under the USAP-CMA. In addition, a USAP auditor participated in an airport inspection conducted by a European Commission inspection team, and a Skytalks presentation was given at a side event of the 39th Session of the Assembly to provide participants with an overview of the audit programme.


Over the course of 2016, three USAP-CMA seminar-workshops were conducted in Nairobi, Moscow and Bangkok in order to familiarize States with the USAP-CMA process and methodology and with the various types of audit and monitoring activities.


During 2016, four Significant Security Concerns (SSeCs) were identified in two States, while two SSeCs in one State were satisfactorily resolved. There are currently eleven unresolved SSeCs in five States. These are posted on the USAP secure website.


Voluntary Support for ICAO’s Work


The continued voluntary contributions from Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States to the AVSEC Fund allowed the provision of assistance to States throughout 2016 under the framework of the ICAO Aviation Security Assistance and Capacity-Building Strategy, in support of the No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative. The NCLB initiative resolved that ICAO should provide more direct assistance to developing countries by playing a more active coordination role between States and by helping to generate the political will needed for States to pool resources, participate in regional efforts, earmark voluntary funds, and build capacity. The main goal of this work is to help ensure that implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) is better harmonized globally so that all States have access to the socio-economic benefits of safe, secure and reliable air transport.


Voluntary funds have been used to deliver targeted assistance, conduct needs assessments, implement Aviation Security Improvement Plans (ASIPs), and fund staffing positions to ensure the effective application of aviation security support. As part of a multi-year grant to ICAO, Canadian contribution funds were used to provide assistance to 25 States in 2016 in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions, providing direct assistance as well as fellowships for State participation in regional workshops and offerings. The voluntary contribution was also used to support the implementation of the Cooperative Aviation Security Programme – Asia Pacific (CASP-AP) training programme, the Global Cargo Security Implementation Plan, and to develop and update ICAO assistance materials. Furthermore, the United States provided voluntary contributions for three secondments in Aviation Security at ICAO.


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