ICAO to discuss airport security and other threats at expert panel in March

The International Civil Aviation Organization will focus on airport security at a meeting in March in light of the terrorist attack that recently brought down a Russian airliner in Egypt, a top official of the UN agency the oversees global aviation said Monday.

MONTREAL — The International Civil Aviation Organization will focus on airport security at a meeting in March in light of the terrorist attack that recently brought down a Russian airliner in Egypt, a top official of the UN agency the oversees global aviation said Monday.

ICAO council president Olimuyiwa Benard Aliu of Nigeria said that while flying remains very safe some countries need to do a better job addressing security challenges, including “insider threats” from airport staff, airline employees and others who have access to aircraft.

While most member countries meet high standards, “sometimes we do find there are deficiencies here and there,” he told reporters following the opening of a three-day aviation forum on the economic contribution of global aviation.

“The whole essence is to put in place mechanisms to assist the members states in addressing those challenges.”

Aliu said ICAO will implement recommendations of an investigation being conducted into the Oct. 31 explosion aboard the Russian plane that killed 224 people. ISIS has claimed responsibility, saying it had planted a bomb aboard the aircraft.

“If there are specific recommendations that we need to pay attention to you can be rest assured that we will take action immediately,” Aliu said.

Aliu said 2014 was the safest year on record or commercial aviation and the sector wants to maintain that standard to ensure travellers continue to have confidence in airline travel, a big contributor to global economic activity.

Aviation generates US$2.4 trillion in economic activity annually supporting 58 million jobs, including 8.5 million direct employment.

The number of passengers is expected to more than double to six billion over the next 15 years, while more than half the 1.1 billion tourists who crossed international borders last year did so by air.

To ensure continued safety, countries need to develop new technologies and train employees to handle the extra traffic without more accidents, congestion or delays.

ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu of China said some developing states need help to enhance their capabilities to implement safety and security standards.

“We would like to help the states with minimum standards,” she said, adding the extra funding shouldn’t come from higher security fees paid by passengers.

Liu said the agency’s No Country Left Behind strategy launched last year was designed to help countries to upgrade infrastructure, train workers and establish oversight systems.

She pointed to African countries, for example, that need help to ensure flights meet the safety standards in place in developed countries like the United States.

Earlier, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the Canadian government supports efforts to strengthen security and build the capability of aviation systems around the world.

Garneau, Canada’s first astronaut in space, also said efforts are needed to address climate change.

“So I applaud ICAO’s vision to increase the sustainability of international air transportation and reduce its impact on the environment.”

Just Posted

Tory MPs gather in Red Deer to hear from voters

Eight MPs from across the province got input on a wide range of topics

Red Deer food bank to re-evaluate to stay up to date on new Canadian food guide

The Red Deer Food Bank Society, which feeds thousands of families every… Continue reading

Young Blackfalds mother copes with double tragedies with community support

Three fundraisers are being held to help Alana Newbold and her children

Red Deer careful about overuse of road salt

Focus on anti-icing to reduce salt use

Carjacking victim would stop to help again

Springbrook woman has some sympathy for carjacker

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Liberals have options to help more millennials buy homes, experts say

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have several options as they look for… Continue reading

Parks Canada puts brakes on Icefields Parkway bike trail in Alberta

Parks Canada says it won’t go ahead with a plan to build… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake resident to receive kidney from younger sister

Sylvan Lake resident Lexie Libby had been losing hope of ever finding… Continue reading

Closing arguments at trial of accused in slaying of Calgary Stampeders player

CALGARY — Final arguments are to be heard today at the trial… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the… Continue reading

Canadian Milos Raonic has Australian Open run end in quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic is done at the Australian Open… Continue reading

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Two Quebec short-film directors mark first Oscar nominations together

TORONTO — Two Quebec filmmakers celebrated in solidarity on Tuesday after learning… Continue reading

Most Read