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Fact Sheet: Aviation Security

June 02, 2003

Presidential Action

Today, President Bush and the other G-8 Leaders endorsed a U.S.-driven plan to counter the threat to civil aviation posed by shoulder-launched missiles, or Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).

The Threat: The unsuccessful missile attack on an Israeli commercial airliner in Mombasa, Kenya, in November 2002 was a stark reminder of the threat posed by terrorists possessing MANPADS. MANPADS are widely available on black or gray markets around the world. Even an unsuccessful attack on a commercial airliner would have a devastating economic and political impact.

G-8 Response: Today, G-8 Leaders agreed to Cooperative Action to Enhance Transport Security and Control of MANPADS and will:

  • Adopt strict national controls over inventories and exports of MANPADS and key components;
  • Ban transfers of MANPADS to non-state end-users; Help countries that wish to dispose of excess MANPADS stocks but lack the means to do so;
  • Exchange information on countries that are not cooperating to control stockpiles of these weapons;
  • Examine development of technical performance or launch control features that would preclude unauthorized use of newly produced MANPADS.

Other U.S. Action: The United States is also addressing MANPADS proliferation with the 33 nations of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which promotes international transparency and responsibility in the transfer of conventional arms, as well as bilaterally with key countries of concern.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Aviation Security Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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