International Civil Aviation Organization outlines anti-terrorism efforts

The International Civil Aviation Organization's Air Transport Bureau Director Boubacar Djibo spoke with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee on June 27 in New York about the organization's anti-terrorism efforts .

In 2012, more than 1,000 airlines saw 2.9 billion passengers over 26 million routes in more than 4,000 airlines, not including 52 million tons of air freight. These statistics made authorities aware of the need to increase security measures for travel, trade and cargo.

"Threats worldwide are continuing, evolving and challenging to predict," Djibo said. "All facets of civil aviation are at risk - passenger aircraft, air cargo, airports, and related facilities and operations."

Djibo said civil aviation security is one of the ICAO's highest priorities. Not only are airplanes used to transport illegal goods or criminals across borders, but airplanes can also be used as weapons themselves, as was seen with the Pan American flight over Scotland in 1988 and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Djibo said one way to improve security is to confirm a traveler's identity through a machine readable travel document. Other methods include document issuance and control, inspection systems and evidence of identity applicable to all types of transportation and borders.

Some countries require better identification management systems in order to truly strengthen global aviation security, Djibo said.