Expert Audit Finds Flaws in Airport Security

A group of Australian civil aviation experts advised Cambodia’s civil aviation body to hire more security staff and mend airport fences in advance of a planned inspection by the U.N.’s civil aviation body later this year, officials said on Monday.

Sinn Chanserey Vutha, a spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), said the group of Australian technical aviation and security experts audited the SSCA from April 18 to May 2 to gauge the aviation body’s compliance with the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

Mr. Chanserey Vutha said the Australians recommended that SSCA hire and train more security personnel and strengthen wire fences in certain places at the airports, concerns he characterized as “not major issues.”

“The Australian team’s findings are being addressed now and will be in place prior to the upcoming ICAO Security Audit planned in October,” Mr. Chanserey Vutha wrote in an email. Audits are “standard procedures worldwide and will help boost standards across Cambodia airports,” he added.

ICAO’s last assessment in July 2014 found that Cambodia scored lower than global averages in seven out of eight categories, according to the organization’s website. State oversight of accident investigation was judged to be just 16.5 percent implemented, compared to a global average of 54.7 percent.

Still, Cambodia’s scores were substantially better than those of neighboring Thailand, which was issued a “red flag” in 2015 by the ICAO for poor administration of its airlines.

Though the ICAO’s audits are intended to evaluate civil aviation bodies rather than the safety of the airports themselves, the result led Japan, South Korea and China to place new restrictions on Thailand-based airlines, according to CNN.

(Additional reporting by Ben Paviour)

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