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ICAO strives to strengthen air cargo security

By control on September 25, 2013

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) talked about their efforts to strengthen air cargo supply chain security.

“Implementing sustainable aviation security is a key priority for ICAO today,” ICAO secretary general Raymond Benjamin said at a press conference on the opening day of ICAO’s 38th Assembly. “This implies innovative security solutions that serve to maintain or strengthen existing procedures, minimize checkpoints and delays, and remain affordable for states and aviation operators. ICAO has begun working more closely with the WCO and industry in this area because we’ve recognized that focusing only on the aviation leg of a given shipment is no longer enough. To fully support the shipping community and ensure optimized cargo connectivity for our customers, all of the players along the cargo supply chain have to work together.”

More than 1,400 people will be at ICAO to discuss a range of critical global issues, many of them expected to affect how countries and operators will manage the projected doubling of air transport traffic by 2030.

The ICAO 38th Assembly runs from Tuesday through Oct. 4.

“Improved partnership at the international level is critical to how we meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the contemporary border and trade environment,” WCO secretary general Kunio Mikuriya said. “Globalized trade and travel requires innovative solutions and enhanced coordination and connectivity between all stakeholders to efficiently secure and facilitate legitimate trade, support economic competitiveness and provide protection to societies.”

International partnerships to support air cargo supply chain technical assistance and cooperation, particularly in developing countries and high-risk areas, are becoming more critical.

“For industry, the key issue is always speed and reliability,” TIACA board chairman Oliver Evans said. “Global trade in the 21st century increasingly relies on the fastest possible transport times, and our customers rely heavily on all participants of the supply chain to get agricultural produce or other time-sensitive cargo to distant markets quickly and securely.”

ICAO says aviation carries some 35 percent of global cargo by value or US$6 trillion (4.4 trillion euros) worth of goods each year, and that developing trade and cargo capacity in emerging regions remains a global priority.

“ICAO will continue to support the economic development and connectivity factors that are so essential to the societies and businesses we serve through our states,” Boubacar Djibo, ICAO air transport bureau director, said.