As I reflect on the ICAO Year of Security Culture (YOSC) 2021, the whole international civil aviation community can be proud of its efforts to raise security awareness and to promote a strong and effective security culture in aviation across the world. This is essential as we seek to increase security compliance at airports and to deter, detect and prevent acts of unlawful interference.
For its part, in 2021 ICAO developed numerous security culture tools and resources for use by aviation entities during the YOSC and beyond. Indeed, the YOSC should be viewed as a transitional year towards a permanent focus on security culture by all in aviation.
The ICAO Security Culture website is now a permanent resource. The website includes security culture best practices from ICAO, States, industry, and other organizations. There is guidance material, videos, leaflets, toolkits, training material, quizzes, checklists, frequently asked questions, and articles offering tips and best practices on security culture. The website also contains a set of self-assessment questions to help organizations measure and improve their security culture.
Training and Assistance
All of ICAO’s aviation security training and assistance packages now embed security culture best practices within the course content and promote a positive security culture.
I would particularly highlight the ICAO Security Culture Workshop that was delivered in 2021 on 16 occasions to 221 students globally. The workshop is based on existing ICAO tools and resources in establishing and maintaining good security behaviours. This includes the ICAO Security Culture Toolkit and the ICAO Security Culture Campaign ‘Starter Pack’ – both available to download, free of charge, from the ICAO Security Culture website in all ICAO languages.
Additionally ICAO, in partnership with UK CAA International (CAAi), launched the Introduction to Security Culture course in 2021. The course helps regulated entities and aviation authorities understand the concept and benefits of an effective security culture, including the best practices for embedding a positive security culture in an organization.
ICAO Security Culture Webinar
An ICAO Security Culture Webinar was held on 16 February 2022 with 1,406 participants registered! The Webinar highlighted global security culture achievements in 2021, with speakers sharing their YOSC experiences and reflecting on milestones achieved. The Webinar also highlighted ICAO security culture tools, resources, and guidance available to support a permanent focus on security culture by all in aviation. The Webinar was closed by the ICAO Secretary General who noted “We’ve accomplished much together over the last year, but keeping the security culture momentum alive and effective will remain a constant and solemn responsibility for all aviation staff and professionals going forward”. Please visit ICAO TV to watch the webinar.
Winners of the ICAO & ACI World YOSC Video Challenge were also announced during the Webinar. For those wishing to see all the excellent security culture videos received, they can be found on the ICAO Security Culture website.
The ICAO Regional Offices also played a central role in promoting the YOSC and in sharing security culture tools and resources throughout 2021 through regional meetings, steering committees, expert groups, seminars, workshops, and webinars. The ICAO Security Culture website contains information on the various regional activities and initiatives with a YOSC Summary Document available to download.
There is now an opportunity to capitalize on the achievements of the YOSC. There is the opportunity to use ICAO tools and resources and to take further practical actions to raise security awareness in aviation operations; to educate more aviation stakeholders and the travelling public on the benefits of a strong and effective security culture, and to promote good security behaviours.
All of us involved in international civil aviation have the opportunity to be Security Culture Ambassadors, integrating a security culture philosophy into everything we do.
About the author
Sylvain Lefoyer has been the Deputy Director of the Aviation Security and Facilitation Branch in the Air Transport Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since 1 March 2017. He leads teams responsible for developing Aviation Security and Facilitation policy, Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), conducting audits of Member States’ aviation security activities, assisting States that are unable to address deficiencies highlighted by those audits, and implementing the Traveler Identification Programme (ICAO TRIP) Strategy.
Mr Lefoyer has extensive experience at the senior executive level in policy and regulations development, strategy, oversight, critical incident management and organization development in aviation security and facilitation.