Why AVSEC In MENA Region- Remains A Game of Musical Chairs.
Having spent the better part of 5 years in the Middle East and North African Region-MENA. It is an open secret that I strongly believe that, the region’s fundamental challenge in its improvement of Aviation Security Management, lies in the establishment and management of national civil aviation security oversight systems that create security regimes, highly effective in preventing acts of unlawful interference, but not unduly inhibiting the growth of civil aviation, interfering with its efficiency and productivity, imposing excessive costs, creating unwarranted operational inconveniences, or intruding unnecessarily into private rights or civil liberties.
That said, I am also a firm believer that the many Laws and Regulations, written to these effect in various countries in the region in question, are just bundles of papers bound together and USELESS if there is no political will from the Governments of the day, to enact their meaningful implementation, populate appropriate authorities competently enough to implement them, whilst ensuring oversight and accountability on all aspects these very laws and regulations are meant to safeguard.
As such, there is a pertinent need to look at the reasons why Aviation Security-AVSEC remains a game of musical chairs, yet it is an integral component of both National and Regional Security? Hence the need for a critical look at the Riyadh Declaration of 31st August 2016 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A principal outcome of the Global Ministerial Aviation Summit (29 - 31 August 2016), organized by authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in coordination with Arab Civil Aviation Commission-ACAC and the United Nation’s specialized lead agency for all matters aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization-ICAO.
As we enter the declaration’s 2017-2019 agenda period, the need to address the pertinent issues identified therein cannot be over emphasized, especially since these is a region suffering from acute-
- Inefficient and/or ineffective aviation security oversight systems;
- Lack of capacity in developing relevant documents for oversight activities, operational procedures in compliance with the Annex 17 – Security SARPs, and relevant security related aspects of Annex 9 – Facilitation and other required guidance materials;
- Inadequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to support aviation security programmes implementation;