International aviation officials agreed to form a task force aimed at better coordinating government security information to prevent another airliner from getting shot down like Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
The International Civil Aviation Organization, a branch of the United Nations based in Montreal, said the task force of industry experts would generate recommendations that could potentially be considered at a security meeting planned in February.
The goal is to get clear, accurate threat warnings from governments about conflict zones so that airlines can make better decisions about where to avoid flying, said USA Today.
"While aviation is the safest mode of transport, the MH17 incident raised troubling concerns with respect to civilian aircraft flying to, from and over conflict zones," said Raymond Benjamin, ICAO's secretary-general, who called the disaster "unacceptable."
"It's essential that airlines receive clear guidance regarding threats to their passengers, crew and aircraft," said Tony Tyler, CEO of the International Air Transport Association, a trade group representing 240 airlines worldwide. "There can be no excuses. Even sensitive information can be sanitized in a way that ensures that airlines get essential actionable information without compromising their sources."
Airline travel remains safe for the 3.3 million who board planes each year. But he said flaws in the system must be fixed after the downing of MH17, said USA Today.
"It exposed a gap in the system. The system is not broken," Tyler said. "The challenge is to close the specific gap or gaps that allowed this tragedy to happen."
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