ICAO to form airline safety task force

30 Jul 2014 by GrahamSmith

The United Nation's civil aviation body will swiftly form a task force on airline safety, it was decided at a summit in Montreal yesterday.

The Internatonal Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) met with the airline industry to discuss how to respond to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine earlier this month (see news, July 17).

It was announced that a task force composed of state and industry experts will be formed to decide how best to collect and distribute information about potential threats to aircraft.

A high-level meeting will take place in February 2015 to further discuss how to increase safety in the air.

Raymond Benjamin, the ICAO's secretary-general, admitted the issue of safety is "quite urgent".

A statement from the ICAO said: "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 coordination, involving not only civil aviation regulations and procedures, but also state and national security and intelligence gathering activities."

The ICAO has 191 member countries but is limited in what it can do. For instance, it cannot open or close airspace.

Emirates president Tim Clark had last week called for an international airline conference to discuss how best to respond to the Malaysia Airlines disaster (see news, July 21).

Graham Smith

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