Building a resilient security culture in aviation


Twenty-two years have passed since the worst acts of unlawful interference in aviation’s history occurred, but the importance of understanding the threat to aviation and promoting best practices in security throughout all aviation operations will never diminish. During ICAO’s Year of Security Culture, we worked with the UK CAA International (CAAi) to launch a two-day Introduction to Security Culture training course under the ICAO TRAINAIR PLUS Programme. Delivered virtually by subject matter experts from the UK, the course helps regulated entities and aviation authorities understand the concept and benefits of an effective security culture, and best practices for embedding a positive security culture within an organization.

The goal with this training is to raise security awareness in aviation operations and encourage the entire sector to think and act in a security-conscious manner.

Kevin Sawyer, Head of International Operations in Aviation Security at CAAi, expressed the value in working with ICAO to develop the course, This is a significant initiative for intensifying collaboration amongst States and industry to promote a positive security culture across the entire aviation community. By examining the experience and lessons learnt in safety culture, this course highlights the importance of security culture and help participants understand the elements and practical tools for benchmarking, enhancing and maintaining a positive security culture. Now more than ever, having the whole aviation community as security assets is a vital facet of our security system”.

Security culture is considered a set of norms, beliefs, values, attitudes, and assumptions that are inherent in the daily operation of an organization and are reflected by the actions and behaviours of all entities and personnel within the organization. Security should be everyone’s responsibility – from the ground up and top down. An effective security culture is about:

  • Recognizing that effective security is critical to business success
  • Establishing an appreciation of positive security practices among employees
  • Aligning security to core business goals
  • Articulating security as a core value rather than as an obligation or a burdensome expense

The Introduction to Security Culture course falls under ICAO’s network of training organizations and industry partners and supports ICAO’s Strategic Objectives to improve the safety, security, and efficiency of air transport. CAAi was awarded Corporate Partnership status on the TRAINAIR PLUS Programme in 2020.

According to David Sterland, Chief of the Implementation Support and Development Section at ICAO,  “Developing a strong and effective security culture in aviation is a top priority for ICAO and this training course is an important tool for this.  Training that promotes a positive security culture is essential and will support the implementation of security measures”.

Registrations for the Introduction to Security Culture course are open, with virtual and in-person courses available throughout the year. For more information, please visit the site here.