Africa-US air transport security cooperation
Four African countries including Ethiopia agreed to bolster cooperation with the US to ensure air transport security.
Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt, countries which operate direct flights to the US, have agreed to strengthen cooperation with the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure safe and secured air transport between Africa and the US. This was disclosed on Tuesday at the TSA Regional Industry Summit hosted by Ethiopian Airlines at the Ethiopian Aviation Academy.
Opening the regional industry summit, Busera Awel, chief commercial officer of Ethiopian Airlines, said that safety and security is the primary focus areas for Ethiopian Airlines. “Ethiopia as a country and Ethiopian Airlines as a leading operator in Africa give a priority for security. We always cooperate with concerned authorities in ensuring secured air travel,” Busera said.
Busera reiterated Ethiopian Airlines’ commitment in collaborating with TSA in various areas. “TSA has always been in our side. They have been supporting us in building a world class security systems and meeting all the international standard security requirements.”
Airport and airline security experts from TSA, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt and Turkey deliberated on security issues that enable them to find strategic solutions to the security of air transportation. Insider and regional threats, cargo scanning and passenger interviews were some of the issues discussed at the regional summit.
TSA Regional-Director for Africa and Middle East, Jason E. Schwabel said the summit brought together experts from the TSA to work with the specialists from airlines that fly directly to the United States. “We are grateful for the partnership of Ethiopia and we are also working to solve security problems as well as to better explain some of the TSA programs and guidelines,” Schwabel added.
Stating that Ethiopia and US have excellent relationship, the Regional-Director noted “we want to showcase the partnership and cooperation that we have in relation to security because we believe it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure safety.”
The security experts drawn from various countries shared their experiences on the innovative ways of solving security issues.
More than 80 experts from TSA, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Egypt Air as well as Turkish Airlines took part in the one-day Regional Industry Summit.