The official results released recently by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), after carrying out a comprehensive system audit on the State's capabilities for the conduct of Aviation Security Oversight, shows that the degree of compliance of Sri Lanka with International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) relating to aviation security projects was well over the global average.
The ICAO is an organization of the States responsible for setting of Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) relating to international civil aviation. It is also the UN body specialized in civil aviation. ICAO has 191 member States of the world as of date.
ICAO conducts under its Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP), regular audits on Member States to ascertain the degree of conformance to the SARPS on aviation security. The most recent aviation security audit on Sri Lanka was conducted from May 24-30, 2012.
The audit results shows a significant performance of Sri Lanka in aviation security oversight activities with 85% of compliance with security related SARPs as against the world (global) average of 67 % for 145 States, which have been audited hitherto. The audit results gives an assurance to the travelling public that the ‘Lankan skies are well secure’.
In a previous audit conducted by ICAO in 2010 in relation to the State Safety Oversight capabilities, Sri Lanka was assessed to have reached 88 % compliance in relation to the local implementation of safety related SARPs as against the world average of 60 % out of 177 States audited.
The overall audit results relating to safety and security shows that Sri Lankan skies are safe and secure which lays the good foundation to achieve the government’s objective of ‘concurring the blue skies’ enunciated in Mahinda Chintana Way Forward.
The ICAO Security Audit puts to test Sri Lanka’s capability on effective implementation of critical elements of security oversight system. The critical elements (CE’s) referred to are, Aviation Security Legislation; Aviation Security Programmes and Regulations; State Appropriate Authority for Aviation Security and its Responsibilities; Personnel Qualifications and Training; Provision of Technical Guidance, Tools and Security, Critical Information; Certification and Approval Obligations; Quality Control Obligations and Resolution of Security Concerns.
Sri Lanka has already filed with ICAO, Corrective Action Plan for rectification of the deficient areas identified during the audits and those Corrective Action Plans have been accepted by the ICAO to be satisfactory.
The security policies designed to protect the travelling public, Airline and Airport Staff and facilities against unlawful interferences, which are identified to be a potential threat to civil aviation.
These two accomplishments in civil aviation ‘Safety and Security’ in SriLanka, will give added level of confidence to foreign airlines about the safety and security standards in Sri Lanka to carry on their business in Sri Lanka.