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ICAO to set up safety task force

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jul 29, 2014 - 3:25 PM |
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters are pictured in Montreal, May 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters are pictured in Montreal, May 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL - The UN body that governs civil aviation says it is setting up a task force aimed at improving security measures in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

The plane was shot down in mid-July by a surface-to-air missile while flying over a war-torn section of Ukraine.

Top officials from four international organizations met in Montreal on Tuesday to discuss risks to civilian aviation in conflict zones.

The head of the International Civil Aviation Organization told a news conference the agency will convene a high-level safety meeting with its 191 member states in February 2015.

Raymond Benjamin said states have also been reminded of their responsibilities to address any potential risks to civil aviation in their air space.

"We recognize the essential need for information and intelligence that might affect the safety of our passengers and crew," Benjamin said.

"This is a highly complex and politically sensitive area of international co-ordination involving not only civil aviation regulations and procedures but also state national security and intelligence-gathering activities."

The meeting also brought together representatives of the International Air Transport Association, Airports Council International and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation.

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