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Stakeholder Advisory Group on Aviation Security

The Stakeholder Advisory Group on Aviation Security (SAGAS) holds five meetings per year and is attended by industry stakeholders and representatives from EU member states. The latest meeting of SAGAS took place at the European Commission, Brussels, on 28 November.

Following adoption of the previous meeting's minutes, the meeting agenda covered the following items:

AVSEC Committee overview

The European Commission DG-MOVE provided an overview of the AVSEC Committee which held its latest meeting on 27 November. Conflict zone-related risks were reassessed for specific global states and remain unchanged. Any update will continue to be notified via EASA CZIB (Conflict Zone Information Bulletins). There was a request from ICAO for greater co-ordination between DG-HOME and ICAO regional offices in respect to regional oversight at specific member states.

An update on the work on the definition of the Aviation Security strategy advised that a process based on steering groups will decide on the participation parameters based on four work steams. Industry representatives will be sought depending on the topics presented. An initial meeting of the steering group will take place on 27 January 2020 to define the work streams. Each work stream will define opinions that will be presented to the steering group and then DG-MOVE for action.

Regarding Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear (CBRN) threats, it was agreed that this important topic will require dedicated work to identify the level of preparedness in the industry. An initial meeting will take place on 7 February 2020.

European Commission inspection activities

Inspections were undertaken at Malta and Frankfurt airports. In addition, under the One-Stop Security Arrangements with third countries, the Commission conducted an assessment at New York/JFK airport. It was noted that no airports are currently being subjected to an Article 15 procedure.

International developments

ICAO advised that in 2020 numerous states airports will be audited. Starting with Finland on 24-28 February 2020, plans are being made to audit airports in France, Turkey, Israel, Azerbaijan, Spain, United Kingdom, Serbia and the Republic of Moldova.

DG-MOVE advised that there will be a European initiative on security culture next year, meaning that 2020 will be the year of security culture.

Eurocontrol advised they can still provide security culture training for member state representatives (focussing on ATM).

Update on One Stop Security (OSS)

Japan are actively interested in pursuing activities with OSS. However, it was stated that their capacity to engage in the short term may be restricted due to the Olympics in 2020. DG-MOVE are to hold high-level meetings with Japanese authorities to discuss the development and scope of the process.

European Commission and United States activity

DG-MOVE held a meeting with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on 14 November, followed by a stakeholder session covering US drones and cyber. It was noted that the United States are working counter-drone technology at 30 US airports. Regarding cyber, the focus of the TSA is to ensure protection of security equipment from cyber attack. DG-MOVE agreed to collaborate with the TSA on a joint inspection methodology to maintain consistency.

Regarding cargo, the TSA is giving a high priority to the ICAO-led phasing out of account consignors by 30 June 2021. The phase-out relates to shipments transported on all-cargo aircraft originated by ACs. After the deadline, screening of air cargo will then become necessary for shipments originated by entities where alternative arrangements are not in place.

Policy Initiatives

A Blueprint on Skills – ERASMUS proposal is now available to view on European Commission website, including details on how to apply for funding. The deadline for funding has been extended to approximately March 2020.

EASA provided a brief cybersecurity update. Two Rulemaking activities are underway covering:

  • Certification of products (focussing on engines/systems etc.); and
  • Management of Information Security Risks (focussing on competent authority for CS oversight).

Comments are currently being reviewed for the later by EASA and an ‘Opinion’ expected to be published in Summer 2020. The future of the EASA cyber rule should serve as a safety baseline for all organisations in the aviation domain.

Stakeholder Activities

The European Cockpit Association (ECA) provided a presentation on the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threat to aviation. This presentation was viewed at a recent meeting of the ERA Air Safety Group (ASG) and an ERA Safety Targeted Awareness Report (STAR) was subsequently published providing details to members of CBRN.

In response to the presentation, ERA addressed the meeting by stating that the issue of CBRN threats was shared at the ERA ASG and applauded the ECA for raising awareness of this threat. With flight crew and cabin crew trained in various on-board scenarios (Lithium battery fires, dispax, infectious diseases etc.), CBRN presents an alternative, albeit rare, event. An aircraft contaminated following a CBRN attack will probably result in being written off as a hull loss due to the complex and sometimes impossible task of decontamination. ERA summarised by saying that the aviation industry must be both prepared and have the necessary knowledge to deal with such a scenario.

SAGAS 2020

Four meetings of SAGAS will be planned for 2020, with the next to take place on 8 March. This will be a particularly noteworthy event as it will be the 10th meeting of SAGAS.