ICAO to create task force on airline safety

Body to look at risks to civil aviation from conflict zones

The International Civil Aviation Organization said it would quickly create an airline safety task force following the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. But it added a note of caution that this was a complex and politically sensitive issue.

ICAO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), jointly expressed their “strong condemnation of the use of weapons against civil aviation”.

The body and its partners pledged to “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.”

Task force findings would be submitted “as urgently as possible” to a “special meeting of the ICAO Council” for action.

ICAO said it would address “fail-safe channels for essential threat information to be made available to civil aviation authorities and industry.”

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 national security and intelligence gathering activities,” ICAO said.

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