International Civil Aviation Organization authorities have encouraged the more than 700 officials convened in Montreal for its High-level Conference on Aviation Security to adopt new airfreight security measures. A risk-based approach to cargo safety is key, ICAO personnel reiterated during the conference.
ICAO officials have been touting stricter airfreight security requirements since the thwarted 2010 Yemen cargo bomb plot. In 2011, ICAO signed an MOU with the World Customs Organization to protect airfreight from acts of terrorism or other criminal activity, as well as accelerate the movement of goods by air. ICAO also unveiled its more stringent cargo security measures last year, one of which requires member states to establish supply-chain security processes.
Roberto Kobeh González, president of the ICAO Council, endorsed these goals during the High-level Conference on Aviation Security. “Civil aviation remains an attractive target for terrorists,” he said in a statement. “It is an essential mode of transport that contributes significantly to worldwide economic and social development.
“Clearly, as terrorist threats evolve, we must continually adapt and reinforce our strategies and improve our level of collaboration so that aviation remains a secure means of moving people and goods quickly and affordably,” Kobeh González added.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who spoke at the conference, urged ICAO members to approve the new international standards and recommended practices for cargo and mail security. She also implored conference attendees to support the progression of ICAO’s airport audit program, as well as adopt baseline standards for global border protection.
Even so, Napolitano praised the strides ICAO has made in improving aviation security. “Working together, the international community has forged a new foundation for aviation security, making air travel safer and more secure than ever before,” she said in a statement.