The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the swift implementation by states of the first Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP), which was established this week by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
According to IATA’s Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, “Flying is secure, but it is also clear that aviation faces security challenges. GASeP has the potential to strengthen security globally by providing governments with a global plan to which they can align their national efforts. The critical factor is implementation. It must be quick, comprehensive and global. The industry congratulates ICAO and its member states for putting the plan together. Industry is ready to support its swift implementation.”
ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for aviation security are contained in Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention. GASeP creates a framework for states to incorporate Annex 17 responsibilities into their national civil aviation security programmes in four focus areas: (1) risk awareness and response, (2) security culture, (3) technology enhancement and innovation, (4) security oversight and cooperation among states and with local organizations.
“Governments have the primary responsibility for the security of their citizens—including when they are flying. But differences in the capacity of governments to do this are clear. The implementation of Annex 17 SARPs is far from universal. Focused efforts will be needed to foster cooperation and capacity-building to enable states to meet their obligations,” said de Juniac.
GASeP, if comprehensively implemented, will address four key elements to improve security that de Juniac outlined in a keynote address to the IATA AVSEC World Conference in Abu Dhabi.
These are: closer government-to-government cooperation to eliminate the long-term challenges of extraterritorial measures, the universal application of global standards, better information-sharing among governments and with industry and the efficient implementation of new and existing technology capabilities.
In his words, “We have great expectations for GASeP. But states are sovereign and there is no global security regulator. So governments must fully feel the weight of their responsibility to protect the security of 4 billion travelers each year. To stay a step ahead of the threats, governments must incorporate GASeP into their national plans and cooperate through ICAO to make sure that the global system works.”