ECAC Capacity-Building Programme for Aviation Security

In November 2004, Directors General decided to further develop the ECAC Audit Programme by placing an equal emphasis on capacity-building activities, with the main objective of supporting Member States' efforts to rectify deficiencies identified during audits and further develop their aviation security regime.

The approach taken seeks to establish sustainable, consistent aviation security capacity development within the State, and starts on the basis of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme and extends through specific national requirements, such as screener certification.

ECAC capacity-building activities comprise, but are not limited to:

  • multilateral workshops on issues of common interest to all Member States (e.g. security culture, risk management, security equipment and technology, training and certification of security personnel);
  • standardised tools and procedures such as model aviation security programmes;
  • on-site and online training and coaching; and
  • targeted capacity-building missions based on audit findings and specific needs expressed by Member States (e.g. pre-opening surveys of new airports).

As just one example of the activities undertaken, since 2005 ECAC has conducted 83 Best Practices for National Auditors training courses, and trained more than 600 national auditors from about 30 Member States.

The Programme has constantly evolved to meet Member States' needs, particularly in the context of new requirements and threats. Its relevance to the needs of the Member States is evidenced by the ongoing demand for activities and the positive feedback received from participants.

Several training courses were organised in person and online in 2022 for the benefit of aviation security auditors and inspectors and other aviation security experts from Member States. Particular attention was paid to:

  • improving national auditors' skills and knowledge, with particular focus on inspecting/auditing cyber security measures, passenger and baggage screening, hold baggage screening, deployment and use of security equipment; and
  • improving covert testing programmes and protocols as well as national auditors’ competencies in conducting covert tests in various domains of aviation security.

Two new capacity-building activities were developed in 2022:

  • Best Practices for Risk Management in Aviation Security. This training course aims to support Member States in applying a risk-based approach to aviation security, including risk-based security oversight, and in addressing current and emerging threats to civil aviation effectively; and
  • a practical activity on inspecting cyber security in aviation. This activity is organised as a follow-up to the theoretical training course called Best Practices for National Auditors – Cyber Security (basic). Its main objective is to enhance auditors’ understanding of the key cyber security measures in aviation and of good practices for inspecting their implementation.

Catalogue of ECAC security audit and capacity-building activities

The ECAC security audit and capacity-building activities available to Member States to support their implementation of aviation security measures are compiled in a catalogue.

Download here the latest edition (2024) of ECAC's catalogue on security audit and capacity building activities.

The ECAC Capacity-Building Programme benefits from the contribution of experts nominated by ECAC Member States, either in the development of tools (e.g. development of training modules) or in the implementation of activities (e.g. experts acting as instructors or speakers). In doing so, experienced aviation security experts from ECAC Member States regularly participate in the Capacity-Building Programme as instructors. They contribute to the delivery of training courses, webinars and workshops. The participation of these experts and instructors also contributes to sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices among ECAC Member States, as well as to their own professional development.

ECAC News on security matters

ECAC News n°77 - Aviation Security ECAC News n°67

ECAC Spotlight on security matters

ECAC News n°74 - Spotlight on the ECAC Behaviour Detection Study Group (Carmen Feijoo) ECAC News n°70 - Spotlight on the Training Task Force (Nina Smith) ECAC News n°66 - Spotlight on ECAC Common Evaluation Process (CEP) of security equipment (Julien Levet)
ECAC News n°64 - Spotlight on Security Forum (Urs Haldimann) ECAC News n°61 - Spotlight on BDSG (Sven Keijsers)