"Israeli airlines must speed up protection plans"

El Al  picture: Eyal Yitzhar

Israel's Elbit Systems is the first company to develop a defense for planes against shoulder-fired missiles.

At the Eighth International Civil Aviation Conference of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies and the Israel Civil Aviation Authority (CAAI), Fisher Institute CEO Brigadier-General (Res.) Abraham Assael called for speeding up plans for the protection of all the airliners used by Israeli civil aviation companies.

Assael was referring to SkyShield, an advanced system for protecting passenger jets against shoulder-launched missiles that was developed by Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) after the firing of an antiaircraft missile at an Israeli airliner in Mombasa over a decade ago. Israel is the first country to develop such a system, based on advanced laser technology for jamming missiles fired at an airliner, and diverting them from their path.

"From a security standpoint, you just have to look to see the extent of the threats to civil aviation. Israel is the first to use advanced technology to protect its airplanes, but that's not enough," Assael said.

Assael added that the recent downing of a Russian airplane in the Sinai was a fresh example, explaining, "The economic potential in civil aviation is enormous, so we must minimize the threats to this potential, with an emphasis on aerial terrorism."

Joe Sultana, network manager for EuroControl, the agency responsible for control of flights to Europe, also spoke at the conference. He said that unlike in the past, airlines all over the world should verify and consult, including with professional bodies and security and intelligence agencies, to ensure that the entire route is safe, not just the airports for takeoffs and landings. He added that this was presenting new challenges and requiring complex and lengthy coordination by airlines with a large number of entities. He stated that the companies were managing risks in real time, and international cooperation between a large number of agencies sharing information about aviation safety in different regions was required.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 12, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

El Al  picture: Eyal Yitzhar
El Al picture: Eyal Yitzhar
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