A two-day sub-Saharan Africa Aviation Security Regional Workshop to discuss ways of dealing with current and potential threats to air travel is underway in Accra.
Opening the workshop, Aviation Minister, Ms. Cecilia Dapaah, noted that the threat to aviation remains compelling, given the interconnectedness of global air travel and trade.
“As it has been for years, civil aviation continues to be a prime target for terrorists. It is assessed that in planning an attack, terrorists generally aim to achieve any of the following objectives: inflicting mass casualties, causing economic disruptions, making a symbolic statement, and generating public fear,” Ms. Daapah said.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) data show that 22 acts of unlawful interference against aviation was recorded in 2017.
These acts covered a range of geographical regions, and a broad spectrum of attacks types, including: nine attacks on aviation facilities, one attempted attack on an aircraft, one attempted attack using an aircraft as a weapon, one cyber-attack. Two unlawful seizures, and eight attacks qualified as “others”.
The 2017 figure is a 59 percent increase over the nine (9) acts of unlawful interference against aviation was recorded in 2016.
“These situations require States to be proactive and vigilant to develop and apply appropriate effective, protective and reactive aviation security measures to meet the threat at the national and operational levels,” Ms. Dapaah urged participants.
She indicated that Ghana is working assiduously to ensure a safe and secure aviation industry. “At the State or national level, the Ministry of Aviation is committed to providing an enabling environment for various industry stakeholders, as well as providing the needed support and assistance for aviation security initiatives by respective industry players.”
The aviation industry regulator, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), was supported by the UK Department for Transport (DfT), the UK Ministry of Defence and the British High Commission, Accra to hold the event.