Minister Alghabra opens the second Safer Skies Forum

Minister Alghabra opens the second Safer Skies Forum

OTTAWA — The second Safer Skies Forum is officially underway, with international organizations and the civil aviation industry coming together to mitigate the risks of airspace over or near conflict zones.

Hosted virtually by Transport Canada and the Safer Skies Consultative Committee, the forum was officially opened on March 29 by Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. During the two-day forum, countries and expert partners will share best practices to improve international efforts in keeping passengers safe, enable information sharing and collaboration between parties on current issues in global aviation, and advocate for the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to safeguarding airspace in or near conflict zones.

The Forum plays a key part in the Government of Canada’s Safer Skies Initiative, first announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2020, following the shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 by Iran in January 2020.

“Canada is proud to host the second Safer Skies Forum and we look forward to two days of constructive dialogue on how best to manage risks to civil aviation and keep passengers around the world safe,” said Minister Alghabra. “Effectively and efficiently managing airspace in or near conflict zones is more important now than ever. By working together, we can help ensure that tragedies like PS752 and MH17 never happen again.”

During his address, Minister Alghabra announced that Canada will be collaborating with international partners to draft a Working Paper on initiatives to improve conflict zone risk mitigation practices around the globe. The discussions taking place at the Forum will be reflected in the Working Paper and the Minister urged countries to support it ahead of the next ICAO Assembly.

The Minister also announced that the Netherlands and Canada intend to co-host the next Safer Skies Forum in the Netherlands in 2023.