GCC states’ cooperation vital for aviation safety

DUBAI — Cooperation among Gulf countries is a vital factor in the effective implementation of regional aviation safety and security standards, an official from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said yesterday.

By Criselda E. Diala

Published: Thu 31 May 2007, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:30 AM

“We should make a collective effort to create a security net, which will ensure that not a single potential act of interference can slip through. Achieving this goal involves pro-active cooperation at every level, especially at the regional level,” said Mohamed Abu Baker Farea, Director-Aviation Safety and Security of GCAA.

Addressing the “Aviation Security Conference” at the Airport Show 2007 at the Dubai Airport Expo, Farea said the GCAA had already initiated a Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Project (COSCAP), which has its headquarters in the UAE, with four of the six GCC countries as members, namely the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. The group is also seeking the eventual participation of Saudi Arabia and Oman in the project.

Through COSCAP, a programme that is also conducted in other regions worldwide under the Technical Cooperation Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Gulf member-states attempt to harmonise their aviation security systems.

“The security system of one country should also be the same as that implemented in another state. If there is no alignment, we are bound to have a security deficiency. Airport security threats should always be calculated and COSCAP aims to do that by bringing countries together to set up a unified set of regulations,” Farea said.

It may be recalled that recently, the GCAA had announced the implementation of enhanced security measures at all UAE airports, which restricts the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels that passengers can carry in their hand luggage. The same policy, which is a standard imposed by ICAO, has also been announced by the Doha International Airport in Qatar this month.

While the international airports in Bahrain and Kuwait have not yet implemented the hand baggage rule, it posted an advisory on their respective websites about the restrictions that passengers may face at other airports.

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