AVSEC2020: ICAO inaugurates 2021 as Year of Security Culture

Montréal,
21 December 2020 – ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu ended off the fourth annual ICAO Global Aviation Security Symposium (AVSEC2020)  by inaugurating 2021 as the Year of Security Culture.

In her closing remarks to last week’s virtual event, which concluded on Friday and brought together over 1,500 global aviation security experts and officials, Dr. Liu noted that the over-arching goal with the Year of Security Culture initiative will be to raise security awareness in aviation operations and have the entire sector thinking and acting in a security-conscious manner.

“Special and multi-agency events will be conducted, and supplemented by a series of global and regional activities focused on innovations in cybersecurity, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, air cargo, and pandemic recovery,” she emphasized. 

“From industry leaders to frontline workers, and from taxi drivers to those working in airport retail outlets, everyone should be engaged as security is everyone’s responsibility.”

In addition to being the Year of Security Culture, Dr. Liu reminded her audience that 2021 would also be the 20th commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and the dawn of the modern aviation security era.

“Placing due focus on 9/11, and what it meant to aviation, will help us to raise security awareness in a holistic way and build on our strengths as we confront the new normal,” she concluded.

In acknowledging the challenging conditions 2020 and the pandemic have presented, Dr. Liu used the Symposium to highlight the extensive actions and resources which ICAO has realized, and spoke to both the challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 was posing to aviation stakeholders.

In addition, the sheer pace of innovation, in terms of hardware and machine learning and other advances, were recognized by the ICAO Secretary General as “accelerating to such an extent that no one can rest idly in their assumptions of how aviation security may look or function in even ten years’ time.”

Dr. Liu concluded by encouraging all to “take concrete actions and to set ambitious objectives to support the implementation of an effective security culture in aviation”.

ICAO AVSEC2020 featured wide-ranging high-level panelists including Dr. Rannia Leontaridi, OBE, FRSA, Director General Civil Aviation, Department for Transport, United Kingdom; Mr. David Pekoske, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, United States; Ms. Michèle Coninsx, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director, Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), United Nations; Mr. Henrik Hololei, Director-General, Mobility and Transport, European Commission; and Mr. Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General, Airports Council International (ACI) World.

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