Championing Regional Security and Facilitation Coordination for Better Skies in Africa
The instability caused by socio-political upheavals across several States in Africa is a cause for concern. Security remains as one of the top priorities of the Association demanding continuous focus by all stakeholders. AFRAA contributes to the regional security coordination for better skies in Africa. This policy paper summarises AFRAA’s position relating to security improvement in Africa.
2. Africa Security Status
States bear the responsibility of security for all, and unlawful acts generally target States and not airlines. Based on a thorough risk- assessment, Africa adopted the Aviation Security and Facilitation Targets for Africa in 2016 at the Windhoek Ministerial Conference.
Security data are sensitive and in line with industry practice, this document does not disclose the outcomes of African States’ assessments against the Universal Security Audit Program (USAP).
3. AFRAA Regional Security Approach
AFRAA follows-up on the development of various security initiatives at the international level, and at the regional level, the Association participates and contributes to setting security priorities for Africa in the framework of the Regional Security and Facilitation Group for Africa and Indian Ocean (RASFALG – AFI).
Therefore, AFRAA articulates its security strategy on eight pillars towards the strengthening of security in Africa.
Pillar 1: Cooperative Approach in Security and Facilitation Improvement in Africa – Windhoek Security and Facilitation Targets
The Windhoek Ministerial Conference reviewed a list of comprehensive aviation security and facilitation issues and initiatives vis-à-vis Africa’s weak security and facilitation environment.
The ministers expressed a political commitment in the form of a declaration, agreed on a regional approach to ensure effective implementation of aviation security and facilitation. The Conference adopted the “Aviation Security and Facilitation Targets for Africa” and directed AFCAC, as their Regional Organization to ensure and monitor the implementation of a regional mechanism.
While AFRAA urges States to ensure the implementation of all the Aviation Security and Facilitation Targets, the Association continues to provide the operational insight and collaborate along with other stakeholders through its participation in the activities of the RASFALG – AFI.
Pillar 2: Implementation of ICAO Annex 17 and Annex 9
AFRAA urges States to ensure compliance with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) of both Annexes 17 and 9.
• With the implementation of the ICAO SARPS, African States achieve the following: increase their levels of effective implementation (EI) through compliance,
• Ensure secure operations through their airports, and
• They set a strong basis for security collaboration within the Region.
In line with the regional targets, every State has to get written and approved National Civil Aviation Security Program (NCASP), National Civil Aviation Security Quality Control Program (NCASQCP), National Civil Aviation Security Training Program (NCASTP), and National Air Transport Facilitation Program (NATFP) in compliance with the requirements of the relevant ICAO Annex.
Pillar 3: Air Operator Security Program (AOSP)
AFRAA requires that member airlines secure approved Air Operator Security Program (AOSP) thereby meeting the requirements of their respective National Civil Aviation Security Program (NCASP).
As far as foreign acceptance of AOSP is concerned, AFRAA concurs with the IATA position.
Pillar 4: Security Management System
Similar to the Quality Management System (QMS) and Safety Management System (SMS) AFRAA recommends the consistent implementation of the Security Management System (SeMS) to develop and enhance operational security in Africa.
Pillar 5: Cargo Security
AFRAA urges member airlines engaged in cargo operations to ensure that they keep themselves abreast with the IATA Cargo Security policy.
Pillar 6: Cybersecurity
The number of new ICT applications continuously increases and creates new threats to computer systems. Such threats expose airline operation software to new risks. The air transport industry collaborates to address and increase the awareness of stakeholders.
AFRAA encourages member airlines to participate in workshops and training relating to cybersecurity.
Pillar 7: Facilitation
Adequate implementation of security measures protects flight operations. However, the security controls create long queues due to the increase in air traffic. The time-consuming flows through immigration and security procedures dilute the overall air travel experience at airports.
Traveller Identification Program (TRIP), Machine Readable Travel Document (MRDT), Public Key Directory (PKD), and Advanced Passenger Information are international initiatives to accelerate reliable identification processes of air passengers. The industry is also moving towards the use of biodata to enhance automatic passenger recognition.
It is AFRAA’s view that ICT applications must capture biodata, connect them to a trip, facilitate the secure identification checks, and enhance the passenger travel experience from the start to the end.
Pillar 8: One-Stop Security in Africa
One stop security is a recognition of security measures arrangements whose aim is to allow passengers, baggage and cargo which have been security checked at a one stop security (OSS) approved departure origin, to transfer onto connecting flights without being subjected to additional security checks.
Based on the “Aviation Security and Facilitation Targets for Africa,” African States can all implement the SARPS of Annexes 17 and 9. Taking advantage of various Regional Economic Communities (RECs), States should harmonize the implementation of their procedures, address the specific security challenges of their sub-region, and attain mutual recognition. Hence, Sahel G5, ECOWAS, EAC, SADC, and others could implement an effective “one-stop security program” within their respective sub-regions.
Security incident occurrences in African States could slowdown air transport contributions to the economic development of the Region.
AFRAA believes that African aviation will perform better aviation security and facilitation performance even faster; it requires that aviation stakeholders continue coordinated efforts along eight pillars, i.e., the achievement of Windhoek aviation security and facilitation targets (i), the implementation Annexes 17 and 9 SARPS (ii), the requirement of air operator security program (iii), the implementation of Security Management System (iv), the cargo security implementation (v), the cybersecurity awareness (vi), the implementation of the national air transport facilitation program (vii), and the implementation of one-stop security programs (viii).