ASF's aviation security framework 'closely aligned' with global standards: int'l auditors

USAP-CMA experts commend ASF's aviation security framework after full-scale audit

— ASF
— ASF

KARACHI: International auditors from the Universal Aviation Security Audit – Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) programme commended the Airports Security Force (ASF) aviation security framework and termed it closely aligned with the global standards for 2030.

A four-member team of the USAP-CMA — a programme under the United Nations agency International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) — reached Pakistan on February 18 to conduct a “10-day full-scale audit of aviation security protocols”.

The global experts led by Oscar Annabel Rubio arrived in Karachi for the “detailed scrutiny was aimed at enhancing the standards of aviation security through a process of regular evaluation, and oversight mechanism,” the ASF spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) carried out a pre-coordination with various aviation entities to facilitate this comprehensive audit. Airports Security Force (ASF), mandated with the paramount responsibility for safeguarding aviation and airports security within Pakistan, executed the entire spectrum of requisite security measures with diligence,” it read.

“It is imperative to note that ASF's pivotal role, as enshrined in its Act of 1975 is to ensure robust and wide-ranging security measures at all national airports, upholding law and order, conducting passenger screenings, managing access controls and safeguarding both cargo terminals and the airport's perimeter.”

— ASF
— ASF

In anticipation of this audit, an ASF specialised team from ASF Headquarters undertook a preliminary assessment (Pre-Audit USAP) on the directive of the ASF's headquarters.

ASF’s core responsibilities such as access control mechanisms, screening processes, perimeter defence strategies, security training initiatives, and adherence to established rules, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and Protocol Questions (PQs) were some of the main areas assessed.

The force’s chief security officer gave an in-depth briefing to the audit team on aviation security measures, and the ASF's proficiency and preparedness in managing emergency scenarios at the airport.

The auditors meticulously examined the adherence to ICAO's Security and Passenger Facilitation Standards and Recommended Practices, monitored ongoing security operations, inspected access control and passenger screening measures, visited the CCTV surveillance centres, and conducted interviews with the staff.

During the conclusion ceremony, held at the CAA Headquarters on February 27, the audit team commended ASF’s aviation security framework.

They affirmed that Pakistan has not merely met but exceeded the newly established ICAO benchmarks for 2023. Furthermore, the security strategies implemented by the force were considered as closely aligned with the UN aviation security agency’s standards for 2030, heralding a significant accolade for Pakistan.

Upon the triumphant culmination of this security audit, the ASF headquarters extended heartfelt gratitude to all participating agencies and organisations for their invaluable contribution and unwavering cooperation in achieving the milestone.