In partnership with the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), represented by the General Secretariat in Montreal and its Cairo regional office, organized a symposium via distance communication technology, on August 25, 2021, on the digitization of air cargo activity under the title: “Digitalizing air Cargo in Covid 19 times : Perspectives on Security.
This webinar is part of a series of seminars organized by ICAO and the United Nations with the aim of promoting the concept of air cargo digitalization and the essential role of the air cargo system as part of the broader supply chain, which will contribute to the recovery of the global economy, among civil aviation authorities, customs, economic entities and stakeholders.
This symposium was specifically designed for the countries of the Middle East region with the International Civil Aviation Organization, in order to study the security aspects of digitalizing field and cyber air cargo, especially since Covid-19 requires acceleration in digitalization, and to draw a perspective on the work of the United Nations in terms of setting standards to meet these challenges as well as how to ensure a secure supply chain for stakeholders through digitalization.
This symposium witnessed the participation of 133 representatives of civil aviation authorities, international and regional organizations, universities, and companies specialized in the field of air cargo.
During his intervention, His Excellency Eng. Abdennebi Manar, Director General of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, mentioned the findings of the first online symposium, on the importance of the cooperation of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization in implementing Recommendation No. 16 of the CART team, which includes “providing advice to countries on the temporarily lifting of restrictions imposed on air cargo operations, especially with regard to air cargo services, with the aim of facilitating the transportation of basic goods, supplies and Corona vaccines, including the liberalization of the Seventh Freedom.
His Excellency also underlined that this symposium is an important step to achieve this goal, as it constitutes a platform for discussing the increasing challenges facing air cargo activity, especially the security and facilitation aspects and suggest solutions to set up a roadmap that would be established in order to enhance air cargo activity in our countries.
During this symposium, participating experts delivered fourteen presentations centered on the regulatory framework for air cargo, and the points of intersection between digitalization and field security, as well as cybersecurity for the Middle East, arising challenges from both the digitalization and air transport security.
The expert of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization made a presentation on the increasing challenges facing the air cargo supply chain in terms of the need to enhance its digitalization, especially in the Arab countries, pointing to the problem of multiple security requirements for air cargo data exchange. Accordingly, he put forward proposals including the reliance on the same procedures that passengers are subject to, and the adoption of a multi-layered approach to air cargo security, which can only be achieved by driving a synergy between all stakeholders.
The summary of the discussions of the participants in the symposium highlighted the importance of strengthening regional cooperation in the field of cargo security and capacity building, and the need to coordinate actions between the relevant national authorities to implement the recommendations of the CART team, and encourage countries to exchange information on threats and best practices to mitigate risks, as well as support the role and efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Customs Organization for the implementation of the Air Cargo Digitalization Initiative.