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UN Agency To Produce New List Of Banned Items

After Terrorist Plot To Blow Up Planes, UN Agency To Produce New List Of Banned Items

New York, Sep 25 2006 11:00AM

In an effort to further thwart terrorist plots to blow up airliners, the United Nations aviation agency will this week move ahead on producing a new list of prohibited items that passengers cannot bring on board, such as liquid, gel and aerosol products capable of being used in improvised explosive devices.

On 27 and 28 September, the International Explosives Technical Commission of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (< “http://www.icao.int/”>ICAO ) will take up the work of a panel that met earlier this month following the thwarted terrorist plot in August in the United Kingdom to blow up some 10 trans-Atlantic flights.

The Agency aims to issue the new list of banned items to its 189 Contracting States by the end of November.

“The issuance of a revised list of prohibited items is a complex matter involving law enforcement, explosives technologies, evaluation of trace detection equipment, training of security personnel, logistics and commercial considerations,” ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh González said last week.

Earlier this month, ICAO’s Aviation Security (AVSEC) Panel reviewed an expanded list of prohibited items prepared by the Organization’s Secretariat. In the coming weeks, the Panel will incorporate appropriate national and regional initiatives taken to date to deal with the new threat posed by liquid, gel and aerosol products.

“The Panel is working diligently on ways to strengthen and streamline security procedures at airports,” Mr. Kobeh González said.

The reports of both AVSEC and the Technical Commission both bodies will be presented to the ICAO Council at its next session beginning 10 October.

Once the recommendations are adopted, ICAO will notify all Member States of various issues related to liquids used as explosives, including: a new list of prohibited items; measures needed to counter the new threat; ongoing work on technologies and operational procedures for detecting prohibited liquids; and the need for new measures to be effective, practicable, sustainable and harmonized among States.

Special emphasis will be placed on close cooperation with intelligence agencies and aviation regulators. A mechanism to rapidly share significant security information on an international basis will be provided.

In the longer term, ICAO will revise its security Standards and guidance to deal proactively with this new threat and others that may emerge, focussing on further enhancing airside security, including staff screening and cargo, catering and hold baggage security.

“Our overall security objective is twofold: to diligently assess new and emerging threats to aviation, and continually monitor and upgrade processes to ensure they are commensurate with the level of threat identified; and, to expedite the clearance of passengers and cargo at airports while maintaining the highest level of security" Mr. Kobeh González said.

Ends

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