The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), jointly express strong condemnation of the use of weapons against civil aviation.
“The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is unacceptable. Our organisations wish to convey our deepest condolences to the families of the passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic event. While aviation is the safest form of transport, the MH17 incident has raised troubling concerns with respect to civilian aircraft operating to, from and over conflict zones,” the four aviation organisations said in a joint statement.
“We met at ICAO in Montreal on Tuesday with collective resolve to urgently review the issues and potential responses to be pursued. As a first step, states have been reminded by ICAO of their responsibilities to address any potential risks to civil aviation in their airspace.
“We recognise the essential need for information and intelligence that might affect the safety of our passengers and crew. This is a highly complex and politically sensitive area of international co-ordination, involving not only civil aviation regulations and procedures but also state national security and intelligence gathering activities.
“All parties to the discussion agreed ICAO has an important role to play in working as urgently as possible with its member states, in co-ordination with the aviation industry and other bodies within the United Nations, to ensure the right information reaches the right people at the right time.”
ICAO and its industry partners will immediately establish a senior-level task force composed of state and industry experts to address the civil aviation and national security aspects of this challenge, in particular how information can be effectively collected and disseminated and submit the task force findings as urgently as possible to a special meeting of the ICAO Council for action.
Industry has requested ICAO to address fail-safe channels for essential threat information to be made available to civil aviation authorities and industry and the need to incorporate into international law, through appropriate UN frameworks, measures to govern the design, manufacture and deployment of modern anti-aircraft weaponry.
As a further follow to the possible threat posed to international civil aviation by conflict in various parts of the world ICAO will convene a high-level safety conference with all of its 191 member states next February.