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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read