Pilots’ association urges relaxation of intelligence sharing rules

Pilots' association urges relaxation of intelligence sharing rulesThe European pilots’ association is urging airlines and stakeholders to share intelligence and security information with other airlines to help prevent tragedies like the MH17.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA) believes a thorough analysis of the industry’s approach to risk assessment and high-level international intelligence sharing needs to be addressed.

The call comes after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was brought down over Ukraine last week after apparently being hit by a missile at 33,000 feet.

Nico Voorbach, ECA President, said: ““We share the public outrage over MH17, and we owe it to the passengers and crew who lost their lives, and all our future passengers, to see past this and focus on prevention first and foremost.

“MH17 exposed a significant weakness – if not a failure – of international threat and risk assessment in civil aviation.

“In hindsight flying civilian aircraft over an area where powerful anti-aircraft systems capable of bringing down an airliner at cruising altitude are in active use is not acceptable.”

The association said some airlines could have access to good intelligence and advice from their country’s national security services, while other carriers are left at greater risk.

ECA said it appeared likely some restrictions may be placed on what intelligence an airline can share with other airlines.

“We must ask governments what those restrictions might be, and how we can ensure that the airlines are able to share information in such a way that the highest levels of risk avoidance can be rolled out to all,” the association said.

It said future prevention required “immediate attention and our long-term thinking” and is pushing for an analysis of the industry’s approach to risk assessment and sharing intelligence between airlines.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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