ECAC hosts Europe – Asia-Pacific Aviation Security Forum

Paris, 25-26 February — ECAC and the Ministry of Transport of Singapore organised the sixth edition of the Europe-Asia Pacific Aviation Security Forum in Paris at the end of February, bringing together over 60 experts from Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Over two days, the participants had the opportunity to exchange information and experiences on current aviation security priorities and recent developments in their regions in an endeavour to promote the global implementation of international aviation security requirements.

Held every two years, this year the Forum addressed the evolution of threats, technology and innovation, security training and culture, and cyber security and disruptive technologies. Discussions were spread across four sessions moderated by Carla Pinto (Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority), Douglas Yeo (Singapore Ministry of Transport), Hugo Porter (New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority) and Urs Haldimann (Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation),

The first session of the Forum looked at the evolution of threats in the regions and the approaches taken by States to address emerging challenges to aviation security. Discussions focused on insider threats, non-metallic improvised explosive devices, threats from remotely piloted aircraft systems including the measures to address them, as well as additional measures to protect passengers attending major events.

Security technology and innovation, and the operational challenges linked to the deployment of new technology were the focus of the second session. Participants considered how technology is used to support aviation security, the regulator and airport perspectives on experience gained from deployment of the latest screening solutions at airports in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, and the use of deep learning algorithms in screening equipment.

In the third session, participants discussed security training and culture as tools to further strengthen aviation security at national and entity level. They shared experiences and lessons learned on the current challenges in aviation security training, on best practices to enhance staff motivation, and on various aspects of security culture, including how to improve it at airport level, the key challenges faced by airlines in the Asia Pacific region, and the value of occurrence reporting.

Finally, the fourth session focused on cyber security and disruptive technologies. Speakers elaborated on cyber security arrangements in their own States, incident and occurrence reporting systems for cyber security in civil aviation, airport cyber security, e-commerce and its influence on aviation security, cyber security in the cargo security supply chain and ATM risks from digitalisation and artificial intelligence.

Throughout the two days, the Forum provoked lively debate and offered much food for thought. Key conclusions included: the need to constantly review and adjust mitigation measures to reflect the evolution of the threat picture; that people are security's biggest asset and that it is vital to strive to find the right conditions to keep staff motivated and trained; and the importance of sharing information amongst all partners to encourage further collaboration.