Avi­a­tion in­dus­try a prime tar­get

> Agen­cies must share info on ter­ror to en­sure safety, says Liow


KUALA LUMPUR: The avi­a­tion in­dus­try is one of the prime ter­ror­ist tar­gets in the coun­try, said Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

“The safety of pas­sen­gers must come first, there­fore or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ICAO), In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA), gov­ern­ments and other agen­cies must freely share in­for­ma­tion about ter­ror threats.

“Shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion should not only be lim­ited to ter­ror warn­ings, but also on whether it is safe for air­lines to fly over con­flict zones,” he said.

Liow cited the loss of Malaysia Air­lines flight MH17 in 2014 over eastern Ukraine, and said air­lines should be made aware of the risks of the routes they are us­ing.

On the safety and se­cu­rity level of air­ports in the county, he said they were well-pre­pared and have im­proved the alert sys­tem fol­low­ing the re­cent air­port at­tacks in Brus­sels and Is­tan­bul.

“All of us to­day want to share in­for­ma­tion, that is the way for­ward to counter ter­ror­ism,” Liow told re­porters af­ter the open­ing of the Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity World Con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

Over 400 se­cu­rity ex­perts will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year’s three-day con­fer­ence.

Among those present were ICAO sec­re­tary-gen­eral Dr Fang Liu, IATA di­rec­tor-gen­eral Alexan­dre de Ju­niac and Air­ports Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional di­rec­tor-gen­eral An­gela Git­tens.

De Ju­niac later said the in­dus­try and gov­ern­ments need to work to­gether to form a strong part­ner­ship to pro­vide durable so­lu­tions to avi­a­tion se­cu­rity chal­lenges. Avi­a­tion is the busi­ness of free­dom and this makes it a tar­get for ter­ror, he said.

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