Australia helps strengthen RP’s aviation security

March 12 2009

THE Australian government recently provided the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) with training equipment for the Aviation Security Training Center in an effort to strengthen the Philippines’ capacity to secure its aviation system.

“The assistance seeks to enhance transport-security measures across the country and reduce the vulnerability of transport systems to security threats,” Australia’s Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith said.

The training facility equipment is part of Australia’s continuing security capacity-building support that will enable the OTS to standardize training and application of aviation-security measures across the Philippines.

The program also funded the training of Philippine aviation-security officials on International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) courses at accredited facilities in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Auckland, Australia. This training has improved the subject expertise of aviation-security managers, technical personnel and training staff.

“The assistance will significantly increase the capacity of the Philippine OTS to conduct aviation-security training both in Manila and other regional airports throughout the country,” Smith said.

The Australian Office of Transport Security executive director, Paul Retter, and the Philippine OTS director, Col. Lucas Cauton, formally signed a deed of donation that marked the official turnover of the equipment on March 2.

During the ceremony, Retter was presented a plaque of appreciation by Undersecretary Cecilio Penilla, OTS administrator, for his role in assisting the Philippine government.

“Australia’s assistance will further develop the Philippine OTS capability to safeguard aviation against possible threats using internationally recognized Icao standards,” Cauton said.

Smith said Australia stands committed to assist Philippine aviation officials in ensuring the security of the country’s transport system.

Australia and the Philippines share a strong bilateral defense and security relationship that aims to counter global and regional threats.

Since 2006 Australia has committed up to P10.9 million (A$340,000) for the implementation of a broader range of aviation security assistance measures to safeguard the long-term security of Philippine aviation and the traveling public.

IN PHOTO -- Paul Retter, executive drector of the Australian Office of Transport Security (left), and Lucas Cauton, officer in charge of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), sign the deed of donation to mark the official turnover of training equipment to the OTS.

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