[Avionics Today 10-02-2014] Incidents involving two Malaysian Airlines aircraft earlier this year are among the occurrences driving the global air transportation industry's push to continue to improve aviation security. International Air Transport Association (IATA) leadership is continuing to lead the industry in that regard with a focus on bringing together all of the various aspects of the global aviation industry to address aviation industry security challenges.
The aviation industry group announced its upcoming AVSEC World conference and exhibition focusing on aviation security will bring more than 300 airline, airport, defense and aviation technology security experts to Washington D.C.
Image of the Dnipropetrovs'k FIR, CTA 2 and 4, the flown (red line) and ATC cleared (dotted red line) route of flight MH17. Photo: UkSATSE via Dutch Safety Board.
“The recent tragedy involving MH17 has shone a spotlight on the critical role that security plays in protecting air connectivity that drives global commerce and mobility, reunites friends and families and makes the world a better place. AVSEC World provides an opportunity for stakeholders in industry and government to come together to address critical security areas, such as the sharing of information about conflict zones and improving border control and airport processes to facilitate the safe and secure movement of people and goods,” said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of IATA.
Topics that will be addressed during the conference will include a focus on sharing of information and data for risk assessments about different aspects of the air transportation industry. Two of the incidents that prompted the focus of the upcoming conference include the Malaysia Airlines MH370 Boeing 777-200 aircraft which went missing from Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar coverage in March, an incident which still remains unresolved. The other incident also involved Malaysia Airlines, with flight MH17 resulting in another Boeing 777-200 reportedly being shot down while flying over a conflict zone in Hrabova, Ukraine.
A preliminary report on MH17 from the Dutch Safety Board on MH17 notes that the aircraft was penetrated by a "large number of high-energy objects." The flight's path through a conflict zone is prompting the IATA's focus on improving information sharing across the various global regions of the air transportation industry.
Following the other Malaysian Airlines incident, MH370, IATA formed the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF), which will propose a solution for enhancing global aircraft tracking to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) by the end of the year. Members of the ATTF include Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.