Countries are being urged by Iata to swiftly implement the first Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) to stay ahead of threats to flying.

The plan was established this week by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

It follows a warning from Iata director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac earlier this week that 40% of countries have failed to introduce basic aviation security measures.

Welcoming the ICAO initiative, he said: “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.”

ICAO’s standards and recommended practices 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:

·      risk awareness and response,

·      security culture,

·      technology enhancement and innovation,

·      security oversight and co-operation among states and with local organisations.

“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,” said de Juniac

“The implementation of Annex 17 standards and recommended practices is far from universal. Focused efforts will be needed to foster co-operation and capacity-building to enable states to meet their obligations.”

He added: “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 four billion travellers each year.

“To stay a step ahead of the threats, governments must incorporate GASeP into their national plans and co-operate through ICAO to make sure that the global system works.”