Montreal, Canada, 29 July 2014 – Airports Council International (ACI), along with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), participated in a meeting at the head offices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada earlier today to discuss appropriate actions to be pursued to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones.
Despite the fact that air travel is the safest form of transport in the world, the troubling events surrounding the MH17 incident have put the spotlight on the risk factors related to civilian flights traveling to, from or over conflict zones. At the meeting it was agreed that a task force comprised of States and industry experts will be established to produce possible solutions. Findings will be reported to a special meeting of the ICAO Council.
Director General of ACI Angela Gittens reiterated the hard work that has already been done with regard to safety and security while at the same time noting that where possible, processes can and should be refined and enhanced. “Despite the tragic events surrounding the downing of flight MH17, it is important to remember that aviation has an excellent safety record; the condemnable actions of those responsible do not change that,” she said. “Nonetheless, there is always room for improvement, specifically when it comes to ensuring that robust intelligence is put in the right hands.
“ACI and other industry stakeholders will tackle this issue just as we have others in the past—collaboratively and transparently—as we continue to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” Gittens added. “Any proposed changes to flight paths necessarily affect airports where slot allocation, fuel uplifts and curfews are concerned. ACI is ready to cooperatively explore effective solutions with ICAO, IATA and CANSO, and today’s meeting was a very positive first step in the right direction.”
To view the joint press release from ICAO, ACI, IATA and CANSO, please click here.
Notes for editors
Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 591 member airport authorities, which operate 1,861 airports in 177 countries. ACI’s mission is to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations, and this mandate is carried out through the organization’s multiple training opportunities, as well as the customer service benchmarking programme, a wide range of conferences, industry statistical products and best practice publications.