01 August 2009

Etihad Airways invited to join IATA security committee

Etihad-VPEtihad Airways has become the first airline in the Middle East to join the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Working Group Committee for Security. The Abu Dhabi-based airline will be represented on the committee by Mohamed Abubaker Al Farea, Etihad Airways' vice president of corporate safety, security and quality and its foremost international expert on safety and security issues.
The security committee's ten members are selected from IATA's 230 member airlines, which together cover more than 90 per cent of all scheduled international air traffic. Appointments to the committee are made in recognition of the airlines' experience and contribution to aviation Security. The tenure of the appointment is a period of two years.
Mr Mohamed Abu baker said: "This appointment is testament to Etihad's unswerving commitment to aviation safety and security, manifested through the airline's strategies, policies and processes.
"The security group has a very important role to play in the advancement of industry-wide security standards. It is a great honour to have been selected and we look forward to playing an active role on behalf of the aviation industry."
The group is tasked with providing technical advice and working with IATA management on issues and campaigns relating to security in pursuit of safe, secure and efficient air transport. Areas of activity include:

  • Combating acts of unlawful interference against civil aviation

  • Prevention and discovery of crimes against civil aviation

  • Security management systems (SEMS), including quality assurance mechanisms

  • Regulatory policies associated with aviation security

  • Analysis and development of responses to potential threats to civil aviation

Etihad's appointment onto the committee follows the successful completion last year of a rigorous safety audit carried out by IATA. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier was praised after a specialist team from the respected industry body examined in detail the airline's safety procedures and processes.
The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) seeks to ensure that airlines are compliant with its safety requirements and recommended practices. Etihad gained IOSA accreditation in 2006 also with zero findings. The audit is repeated with different standards every two years to ensure on-going compliance.
IOSA audits are mandatory for all IATA member airlines and require meeting 926 separate standards in areas including organisation and management, flight, cabin, ground and cargo operations, maintenance, flight dispatch and security.

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