Political and security risks are a particularly key consideration for aerospace companies around the world, expert tells Hong Kong event 

Speaking at the the Willis-IATA-AAPA Aviation Insurance conference in Hong Kong this week, the head of intelligence for crisis and risk management consultancy Alert:24, Tim Holt (pictured), said that the issue was highlighted recently not only by the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 but the loss of aircraft on the ground at Tripoli Airport, both in July 2014.

This has clearly demonstrated the urgent need to provide accurate and timely information to airlines regarding risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones and to enhance existing mechanisms to share such information, he said. 

“Whilst the International Civil Aviation Organisation will rightly lead on a common approach to aviation intelligence, the airlines themselves must grasp the opportunity to acquire and analyse actionable intelligence on conflict zones and also for destinations which may be at risk of terrorism or political violence,” said Holt. 

“By understanding the strength of governance in fragile states, set against the will and capacity of a group to do harm, an airline will be better able to drive robust safety and security decisions.”

Holt said that in a low profit-margin environment, “the incentive to gain a common understanding of emerging and present threats from ground to air and on the ground can be elusive”.

“However, the benefits in terms of duty of care to passengers and resilience for shareholders are substantial,’ he said.

“In a globalised world with information at its fingertips, little tolerance can be expected for organisations that fail to assess the numerous threats to their assets and the people they carry.”

The Willis-IATA-AAPA Aviation Insurance conference is a collaboration between Willis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).