ACI Asia-Pacific Reiterates Its Call for Adoption of One-Stop Security at ICAO Middle East Meeting
The 3rd meeting of the ICAO Middle East Regional Aviation Security and Facilitation Group (MID-RASFG/3) was held from 16-18 January 2023 in Muscat, Oman and was hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Oman.
The MID-RASFG aims to provide a platform for regulators and industry associations to coordinate and implement work programmes to enhance regional security and facilitation.
Being the first in-person meeting since the outbreak of COVID19, it was well attended by over 50 representatives from State regulators, ICAO, and international associations. One of the most significant outcomes of the three-day meeting was the approval of the revised MID SECFAL Roadmap. In the revised version, certain timelines were postponed due to the impact of the pandemic, and some new actions or tasks were added to take into account the emerging security threats, like drones and cyber-attacks.
Furthermore, a number of working papers were presented during the meeting, including the one submitted by ACI Asia-Pacific calling for the implementation of One-stop Security (OSS), which is a concept of removing security screening and controls at the transfer airport. If implemented effectively and appropriately, OSS will not only enhance airport operational efficiency and passenger experience with a smoother transfer process, but also increase overall security standards as resources can be mobilised to other higher-risk areas.
Despite the notable benefits, the implementation of OSS, however, is still very limited worldwide, especially in the Middle East region. Only a handful of States in the MID region have been engaged in bilateral or unilateral OSS arrangements with selected third States. The lack of implementation could be attributed to potential challenges, including but not limited to political considerations or airport infrastructure limitation.
At the meeting, ACI Asia-Pacific reiterated the importance of OSS to the sustainability of the civil aviation industry, and encouraged States to share challenges and difficulties in implementation at future MID-RASFG meetings.
The next MID-RASFG meeting will be held in Saudi Arabia in 2024, with the date and location to be confirmed.