The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) jointly expressed their condemnation of the use of weapons against civil aviation.
“The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is unacceptable,” ICAO said in its statement. “Our organizations 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 organizations met at ICAO on Tuesday to review potential responses to the issues.
“We recognize the essential need for information and intelligence that might affect the safety of our passengers and crew,” ICAO said. “This is a highly complex and politically sensitive area of international coordination, involving not only civil aviation regulations and procedures but also state national security and intelligence gathering activities.”
ICAO 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.
- Submit the task force findings to a special meeting of the ICAO Council for action.
The aviation industry has called for ICAO to also address fail-safe channels for essential threat information to be made available to civil aviation authorities and industry, and the need to incorporate measures into international law to govern the design, manufacture and deployment of anti-aircraft weaponry.
ICAO is convening a high-level safety conference with its 191 member states in February 2015.