Pacific Aviation regulators meet to improve air travel safety

A new road map for safeguarding air travellers and aviation infrastructure is on top of the agenda for the second Pacific Aviation Security Forum in Apia this week. 

Funded by the New Zealand Government, the Forum was attended by aviation regulators and service providers from ten Pacific states. The member states gathered under the mission statement: “Aviation security: everyone’s responsibility.”

The Minister for Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’itele Niko Lee Hang, delivered a keynote speech welcoming the participants and said he was confident that the meeting will enable the review of security processes and the identification of challenges and opportunities.

"I am convinced that this Pacific Aviation Security Forum will allow policy-makers, air transport regulators, service providers, representatives from the aviation industry and other stakeholders, to review progress towards implementation," he said.

"To identify challenges and opportunities, and agree on a road map for priority actions, to better safeguard all air travellers and our respective infrastructural developments serving aviation.

"It is my expectation that, at the end of your deliberations, the Forum will come out with a communique which will be acceptable and workable within the industry in terms of aviation security."

Papali'i reiterated that the key role of regulation was to ensure safe air travel.

"I ask you all today, to approach this with renewed enthusiasm and develop new ways of managing this to not only enhance protections of our borders but to allow the safe and secure travel of our citizens," he said. 

He also thanked the organisers for choosing Samoa to host the regional meeting and New Zealand for providing the funding for the forum.

"I wish to thank the organisers for choosing Samoa as the host country and I must say that the timing of the Forum could not have been any better as we also celebrate our annual Teuila Festival this week," he said.

"For those of you who are first time visitors to our shores, I see you have 3 full day sessions but please take time out to explore our beautiful Samoa.

"The [funding from New Zealand has] enabled the hosting of this important forum and various other projects throughout the Pacific including the roll-out of advanced security x-ray systems for the islands' airports."

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