UAE to compel global aviation community against cybersecurity risks

By Shayan Shakeel 5 April 2017
UAE to compel global aviation community against cybersecurity risks UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director General Saif al Suwaidi says the UAE is already leading the pack in terms of aviation security, and a new declaration with the United Nation's ICAO will go a long way to solidify the commitment

The UAE is set to unveil a new declaration, intended to compel the global aviation community to develop a cybersecurity evaluation system, the country's civil aviation regulator has said

"In the past, the aviation industry was isolated from the internet. But now as cloud usage grows, risk is growing too," says UAE GCAA Director General Saif al Suwaidi. "The Dubai Declaration will set the principles that will allow the International Civil Aviation Organisation to creating a system of regualtion and oversight," he added. "The declaration is about the importance of security, how to deal with it, and the commitment of states to work together on the matter."

Suwaidi's statement came on the sidelines of the ICAO summit being held in Dubai until 6 April. In elections held last year, the UAE retained its seat on the United Nations most influential aviation committee, and has been pressing for members to commit to a number of agendas aimed at aviation reform around the world.

"The UAE hasn't faced any major cybersecurity aviation challenges so far," says Suwaidi, adding that the UAE had proposed to ICAO that the meeting should be held to pre-empt the threat of growing risks in the industry.

The UAE is also having to face a number of challenges from other countries with respect to security; the US has imposed a ban on devices larger than smartphones in cabins on flights from the country. Meanwhile, Emirates and Etihad have confirmed that additional security screenings are having to be conducted due to pressure from Australian authorities on direct flights from the country.

Suwaidi refused to comment on the matter, but added, that the UAE was "very close to 100 percent" and number one in ICAO's safety and security rankings.

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