To bolster aviation security, ICAO’s Asia-Pacific Combined Action Team (CAT) – AVSEC embarked on a crucial mission to Kiribati from 27 February to 2 March 2023. Comprising of experts from the APAC Regional Office (RO) and the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO), the mission was geared towards collaborating with the Civil Aviation Authority of Kiribati (CAAK) and the relevant AVSEC service provider at Bonriki International Airport (TRW). The primary focus was on strengthening the country’s AVSEC Oversight system and ensuring the smooth implementation of security measures.
The CAT AVSEC Mission was part of a comprehensive series of activities thoughtfully planned by the APAC RO and funded through ICAO Headquarters’ AVSEC Implementation Support and Development Section (ISD-SEC). What’s remarkable is that the State did not incur any costs for this essential support. Each CAT AVSEC Mission is tailored to meet the specific requirements of the participating State and can take place at least six months before or after a USAP-CMA audit, depending on the audit’s results and recommendations.
The objective of the CAT AVSEC Mission was threefold:
- Addressing Critical Elements: The team mainly focused on Critical Elements 6 to 8 of Kiribati’s AVSEC Oversight system. The mission aimed to enhance the country’s overall security preparedness by closely examining and assisting in these aspects.
- Supporting National AVSEC Programs: Kiribati is currently revising its national-level AVSEC programs (NCASP, NCASTP, and NQCP). The mission provided valuable guidance and recommendations to help the country align with ICAO’s Effective Implementation targets, as outlined in the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) and APAC Regional Roadmap.
- Resolving Significant Security Concerns (SSeCs): The CAT AVSEC Mission placed special emphasis on identifying any potential SSeCs and providing effective plans to address them promptly. This proactive approach ensures that any concerns are promptly resolved to maintain the highest level of aviation security.
The APAC RO remains committed to planning and conducting CAT AVSEC Missions for interested States. Any APAC State seeking the benefits of such a mission can contact the APAC RO to be considered, considering the availability of appropriate resources.
Apart from the CAT AVSEC Missions, the APAC RO also actively develops and implements State AVSEC Improvement Plans (ASIPs) and collaborates with ICAO AVSEC Training Centres (ASTCs) to provide training. The organization continues to provide virtual support and guidance to all APAC States. Additionally, ICAO offers the AVSEC Quality Control & Oversight Implementation Package (iPacks) to a select number of APAC States, all while maintaining close coordination and collaboration with partner entities and organizations, including the CASP-AP and relevant UN entities (UN CTED, UN OTC, UN UNODC, etc.), to address various aviation security matters.
The recent mission to Kiribati serves as a testament to ICAO’s unwavering commitment to enhancing aviation security and safety across the Asia-Pacific region. With dedicated efforts and strategic partnerships, the organization continues to make significant strides in safeguarding the skies for travelers and nations alike.