Minister Garneau to address inaugural Safer Skies Forum and call for improved aviation safety over conflict zones 

News release

December 7, 2020        Ottawa        Transport Canada

People travelling from one part of the world to another should have confidence that they will not be exposed to safety and security risks that conflicts pose to civilian flight operations.

Since Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down near Tehran, Iran, on January 8, 2020, Canada and its international partners have been working to improve the safety and security of air travel worldwide by addressing gaps in the way the civil aviation sector deals with conflict zones.

Today marks the annual International Civil Aviation Day, a day to celebrate collaboration with global aviation partners to advance civil aviation in Canada and around the world. This is also a day to remember the lives lost in aviation disasters, and reflect on best strategies to advance the safety and security of commercial airlines.

Tomorrow, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, will deliver opening remarks at the inaugural Safer Skies Forum, hosted virtually by Transport Canada. The Safer Skies Forum is the first international forum focused on civilian aviation safety over conflict zones. This event will bring together experts from 71 countries, international organizations, and the civil aviation industry to:

  • share best practices to address risk in conflict zones;
  • enable information sharing and a broader dialogue between parties on current aviation issues; and
  • advocate for the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), which assist international partners in managing aviation safety risks.

The aviation industry plays a critical role in connecting people and places across the world. However, the vital services it provides are not immune to the safety and security risks that armed conflicts pose to civilian flight operations. The Safer Skies Forum is the culmination of the Government of Canada’s efforts to pursue the Safer Skies Initiative announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2020


“Canada is proud to host the first Safer Skies Forum. Through this event, we are making substantial progress to address the risks that conflict zones pose to civil aviation. These risks cannot effectively be managed on a case-by-case basis, bilaterally, or between a limited number of countries and organizations. International aviation partners must come together to build a robust system capable of protecting civilian flight operations for all air operators and flight paths.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
The Minister of Transport

“The Safer Skies Initiative is a key aspect of Canada’s efforts to make the world safer for civil aviation following the PS752 tragedy. While we cannot bring back the lives lost, we can do our utmost to address any gaps that made this tragedy possible. I am confident that through the good will and firm commitment of the international community, similar tragedies can be avoided in the future. We owe the victims nothing less.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
The Minister of Foreign Affairs

Associated links


Allison St-Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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