ICAO conflict zone task force sets first meeting

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ICAO's recently assembled task force on risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones will meet for the first time on 14-15 August at the organisation's headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

Secretary General Raymond Benjamin says the task force is expected to deliver recommendations "within weeks".

Following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, ICAO hosted a meeting in Montreal on 29 July at which the need for a conflict zone task force was agreed not only by ICAO, but also the heads of IATA, Airports Council International and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation.

The task force's findings will be submitted to a special meeting of the ICAO council. The intention is that "state and industry experts will address the civil aviation and national security aspects of this challenge – in particular how information can be effectively collected and disseminated".

ICAO says it would like to see a system of "fail-safe channels for essential threat information to be made available to civil aviation authorities and industry".