SEYCHELLES BECOMES THE SECOND STATE TO BENEFIT FROM TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND TRAINING UNDER THE EU/ACP PROJECT
Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar.
The main island is Mahé on which the main international airport lies. Tourism remains a key sector for Seychelles economy and the Seychelles International Airport plays a significant role in that regard. The State of Seychelles became the second Beneficiary Country after Rwanda to receive, at no cost, in-country aviation security technical assistance and training under the project.
Working with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority
Working with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority was a great pleasure for the team. The team was well received by the Head of Security for Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority Mr Dobin Samson who ensured the team was comfortable.
The assignment in Seychelles started on 16th September 2013 and continued for a period of ten (10) weeks until 22nd November 2013.
The Project Team commenced its mission in the Seychelles with clear objectives of providing technical assistance and training to:
a) Assist the State of State of Seychelles with implementing its Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to improve the level of effective implementation of ICAO Annex 17 SARPs.
b) Establish effective National AVSEC oversight and security quality assurance.
c) Provide advisory and technical assistance services to ensure the implementation of appropriate AVSEC measures compliant with ICAO Annex 17 SARPs and guidelines concerning Seychelles airport access and perimeter and waterfront maritime controls; aircraft protection; baggage, cargo and mail controls; passenger checks; staff checks; local supervision.
d) Assess AVSEC training needs in Seychelles
e) Develop a specific training programme to address Seychelles’ AVSEC needs.
f) Deliver training activities to improve the capabilities of the AVSEC stakeholders in Seychelles in implementing the measures described above.
IATA/AVSEC Global team does an Assessment of Seychelles International Airport
An initial assessment of Seychelles International Airport’s security system was conducted on September 17-18th, 20th and 23rd by the IATA/AVSEC Global Ltd team and SCAA representatives, the aims of which were:
- to identify areas where the project would focus on based on the deficient implementation of security measures;
- to observe the implementation of the security measures and their impact on the facilitation process in order to incorporate the appropriate provisions into the National Civil Aviation Security Programme and the Airport Security Programme;
- to assist the CEO of SCAA in identifying the areas needing improvement and incorporate them into the quality control activities that were to be conducted at a later stage during the mission in Seychelles as part of the training and set-up of the oversight structure.
The findings and recommendations of the site assessment were summarized and shared with the stakeholders in a subsequent elaborate presentation.
Technical Assistance Activities in Seychelles
From 23rd September 2013 to 22nd November 2013 the following advisory and technical assistance activities were carried out:
- Assessment of the Regulatory Framework;
- Review, amendment and updating of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme;
- Drafting of NCASP Guidance Material as appendices;
- Drafting of a new edition of the Seychelles International
- Airport Security Programme;
- Drafting of a new edition of the Seychelles International Airport Contingency Plan;
- Drafting of the National Civil Aviation Security Quality Control Programme and the Inspector’s Manual;
- Drafting of the National Civil Aviation Security Training Programme;
- Drafting of the Screener’s Certification Programme;
- Initiating quality control activities at Seychelles as part of an On-the Job training for inspectors with a view of establishing a pool of AVSEC inspectors drawn from key stakeholders from diverse disciplines
- Reassessment of Seychelles International Airport in order to follow-up the implementation of the corrective action plan taking into account the facilitation aspects.
From 21st October to 20th November 2013 the following training activities were delivered:
1. National Civil Aviation Security Quality Control Programme Workshop (21 participants from main AVSEC Stakeholders).
2. Crisis Management Course (18 participants from main AVSEC Stakeholders)
3. Bomb Threat Assessment Course (29 participants from main AVSEC Stakeholders).
4. NCASP Workshop (21 participants from main AVSEC Stakeholders).
5. SIA ASP Workshop (25 participants from main AVSEC Stakeholders).
What was exiting during the Seychelles mission was the success achieved within a very short period regarding the aviation security structure and organization.
Without going into details, new approaches to aviation security were discussed and decisions promptly made for their implementation by various agencies towards implementation of aviation security measures within Seychelles.
The enthusiasm by the various players within the State was evident and this played a big role in making the mission a great success.
Four Questions for Mr Gilbert FAURE, CEO/SCAA
1. Your country has been identified as a beneficiary country of this EU funded project. What are your expectations from this project?
Firstly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Secretariat of the ACP Group for having identified Seychelles as a beneficiary of this project.
Although a lot has been done since the last ICAO Audit in July 2012, it is expected that with the experts in the country, together, we will be able to close all the outstanding findings at the shortest possible delay.
Secondly, the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) spends a lot annually to send its staff for training overseas. Under the project, the experts are going to conduct a number of training courses which will be of significant benefit to SCAA and the country as a whole.
2. Being in charge of oversight and implementation, how is your organization complying with the ICAO requirement of having a clear separation between these two functions?
Aviation security oversight is defined as a function by means of which States ensure the effective implementation of the security-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and associated procedures in the Annexes to the Chicago Convention – in this case Annex 17. Seychelles, therefore, as a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization has an obligation for an effective aviation security system, ensuring that aviation security standards are effectively implemented.
I do not see any difficulty with the separation of oversight and implementation; but there is ‘timing’ for each and every move.
Let me explain: At very short notice in August 2009, the implementation was transferred from the National Police Force to the SCAA. The Head of Security, who was responsible for oversight, was tasked to work with the officers transferred from the National Police Force in order to restore morale and confidence in them and more importantly to have a proper scheme of service in place.
I am now confident that the Implementation is ready to be transferred under the General Manager Airport Management and the Head of Security will be fully responsible for Policy and Oversight.
Taking into account the size of the operations, both Oversight and Implementation will continue to be under my charge.
3. Seychelles International Airport is uniquely bordering a waterfront and the width of the runway strip does not allow for the erection of a fence. How do you ensure the protection of this area?
As the width of the runway strip does not allow the erection of any fence or wall, we are currently working with the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) and the Seychelles Coast Guards (SCG) to protect the water front.
- The SMSA will demarcate and proclaim the water front area as a No Navigation Zone;
- The SCAA will empower and equip its personnel to regularly patrol the area; and
- The SCG will respond quickly to call by SCAA personnel.
4. In the upcoming Amendment 14 of Annex 17 there is a recommendation that “Each Contracting State should consider entering into collaborative arrangements in order to increase the sustainability of the aviation security system by avoiding unnecessary duplication of security controls. The arrangement should be based on verification of equivalence of the security outcome ensured by the application of effective security controls at origin.” What is your position on this recommendation?
Though a very sensitive issue, I support the ‘one stop security’ concept in aviation thus the recommendation. However, I am of the opinion that the implementation of this recommendation should firstly begin among neighbouring States at regional level. And States, big or small, have to be prepared to collaborate.
Having said that, we have to bear in mind that ‘a chain is as strong as its weakest link’.