Email this article
Speech by S for S at International Aviation Security Conference 2011 (English only)

     The following is the opening remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at the International Aviation Security Conference 2011 today (May 18)ĄG

     Dr the Honourable Cheung (Chairman of the Airport Authority), Dr Hashimi (Senior Vice President of Emirates Group), Mr Zhang (Deputy Director of the Public Security Bureau of the Civil Aviation Administration of China), Mr Chong (CEO of Certis Cisco), Mr Chen (General Manager of Capital Airport Aviation Security), Mr Hui (CEO of the Airport Authority), Mr Chau (Executive Director of AVSECO), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am delighted to join you at the opening of the International Aviation Security Conference 2011. Let me first extend a warm welcome to you all, especially to those who have travelled long distances, and those who are visiting Hong Kong for the first time.
     The Conference was first organised in 2009 to offer an opportunity for the aviation community and experts from various related fields around the world to share their experience and views on aviation security development. I am very glad to learn that this time, the Capital Airport Aviation Security has come on board to join the list of organisers, and that there are also some 250 participants from government agencies, airlines and aviation security companies from all over the world. With participants of such an international profile, the Conference has established itself as a biannual flagship event in the field.   

     The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region attaches utmost importance in ensuring the safety of air travel by diligently observing the Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). As an international aviation hub, we have about 140 000 passengers entering and leaving Hong Kong through our airport every day. We are committed to providing a safe environment for them and will continue to be a staunch supporter of international efforts in enhancing aviation security standards and measures to tackle new and emerging threats.  
     In recent years, Hong Kong has put in place a number of enhanced measures to strengthen aviation security in the light of incidents and international cooperation. We also encourage the airport community to practise "profiling" and "behaviour pattern recognition" as a proactive approach in identifying suspicious passengers. I am sure Mr Chau can tell you more later in this Conference on how it is being implemented in Hong Kong.

     Despite our efforts made, security challenges faced by the aviation industry are constantly evolving. That is why we, who stand at the forefront of the line of defence, must remain vigilant. There is simply no room for complacency. We must continue to work together to identify possible vulnerabilities in our security systems and further enhance training for aviation security professionals in the light of new and emerging threats. The event today gives us the opportunity to share our experience and brainstorm new measures to cope with the challenges ahead.

     It is not difficult for one to imagine that the enhanced security measures may be perceived as the cause of inconvenience by some users of the airport. Therefore, the most challenging task of the execution agent is to make sure security is not achieved at the expense of efficiency and customer service. I am pleased to say that Hong Kong has been doing a splendid job. We have not compromised our efficiency and service standards while keeping our airport secure. According to the results of the annual Skytrax survey announced in March this year, air travellers have voted the Hong Kong International Airport as the World's Best Airport for the eighth time since 2001. We have also won the awards for the Best Airport Asia and the Best Airport Dining in the same survey. In fact, our airport has won nearly 40 best airport awards from various international and regional organisations since its opening in 1998.

     The outstanding performance is achieved through concerted efforts made by the Hong Kong Airport Authority, AVSECO, Government departments and our industry partners. The hard work and co-operation among them are the key to the high civil aviation security standards and high customer satisfaction that we have achieved here.

     Nevertheless, it will never be enough if we work alone. International co-operation and sharing of best practices in a multilateral setting is of utmost importance. It is necessary for experts from different parts of the world to get together, like what we are doing here to collaborate, share and learn from one another. This Conference is particularly timely as this year marks the centenary of powered flights in Hong Kong. Aviation activities in Hong Kong began with some balloon flights in the 19th century. A hundred years have passed and Hong Kong has now developed itself into an international aviation centre.  

     I also wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to AVSECO for maintaining a very high service standard at our airport and for providing the much-appreciated assistance to facilitate the Government's initiatives, especially in times of emergency. Starting up from scratch in 1997, AVSECO has now transformed itself into a renowned aviation security company. Not only has it established a myriad of partnerships with overseas security companies, its Academy is also an ICAO Asia-Pacific Sub-regional Aviation Security Training Centre as well as an International Air Transport Association-affiliated Regional Training Centre. We look forward to maintaining our close co-operation with AVSECO.

     May I wish you a very successful Conference and our visitors a memorable stay in Hong Kong. Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:24


Print this page