CASSOA Conducts Workshop on Aviation Security Threat Assessment and Risk Management

Executive Director hails British Government for supporting EAC Partner States in aviation security

Arusha, Tanzania; 19 April 2010: The East African Community Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) is conducting a two-week workshop on Aviation Security Threat Assessment and Risk Management in Mombasa, Kenya.

The training which runs 12-24 April aims at developing capacity on threat assessment and risk management in the civil aviation sector. It has attracted more than 90 aviation and security experts in the region and also brought together various players from different entities dealing with security and are critical in integrating and forming the required cohesion for sharing security information in the civil aviation industry.

Opening the workshop, the CASSOA Executive Director, Mr. Mtesigwa Maugo noted that since the September 11 terror attacks in the United States of America, security has been an important element in aviation operations; at airports, on aeroplanes and in all other operations related to air transport worldwide.

And the EAC, the Executive Director asserted, needs to take action to avert the unique threats it faces. “Our region has specific needs to enhance aviation security, taking into account the instabilities around our region,” he said. “In particular here I want to mention the terrorist threats emanating from the Al-Shabaab operatives in Somalia”.

He told participants the twin bombing of the USA embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and the attack on Mombasa were a reminder of the need for extra vigilance in the civil aviation sector and the need to enhance security at the region’s airports.

The CASSOA Executive Director hailed the British Government for supporting the EAC Partner States in the area of aviation security and in particular for facilitating the training in threat assessment and risk management.

He acknowledged the existing challenge of analysing and sharing of timely and accurate intelligence information among the civil aviation experts despite the presence of a very good system of gathering intelligence among the Partner States.

He said the Agency was responsible for the development of harmonised aviation regulations and the corresponding technical guidance and the operations of the aviation in the region were in line with the harmonized regulations, procedures and technical guidance materials.

Mr Maugo also noted that between July 2008 and June 2009, all the East African Partners States with the exception of Rwanda were audited by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the second cycle of the Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP). Rwanda went through the audit in March 2010.

Background information

Following a directive of the CASSOA Board, the Agency convened the Aviation Security Working Group to review the findings of the Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) and assist in the development of Corrective Action Plans. This was necessary since no State can amend the harmonised documents without the involvement of the others through CASSOA.

In the course of considering the findings and developing the Corrective Actions for the USAP, it was found that one of the findings common to the entire region was the ‘absence of procedures for the dissemination of threat information and also the absence of the establishment of various levels of threat and security and associated countermeasures’.

To address the findings and come up with corrective action, the Agency developed the “Model East African aviation security threat assessment and risk management template” as technical guidance materials for threat assessment and risk management. This template was adopted and customized by the Partner States to apply in their respective jurisdictions.