Singapore Accedes to Two International Aviation Security Treaties
21 July 2022
These treaties strengthen international counter terrorism efforts and enhance global civil aviation security for safe and secure air travel
Singapore has acceded to two international aviation security treaties, the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation 2020 (“Beijing Convention 2010”) and the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, Supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft 2020 (“Beijing Protocol 2010”). The instruments of accession were deposited by Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal on 20 July 2022. Both treaties will come into force for Singapore on 1 September 2022.
2 The Beijing Convention 2010 and Beijing Protocol 2010 are treaties which modernise and strengthen the international legal framework for aviation security to deter unlawful acts of interference against civil aviation. They require States Parties to criminalise certain terrorist acts which pose threats to the safety and security of civil aviation.
- The Beijing Convention 2010 criminalises the acts of using civil aircraft for the purpose of causing death, serious bodily injury or serious damage, of using civil aircraft to release or discharge any biological, chemical or nuclear (BCN) weapon or similar substances to cause death, serious bodily injury or serious damage, and of using any BCN weapon or similar substances on board or against civil aircraft. It further criminalises the unlawful transport of any BCN weapon, related material or other dangerous material. Cyber attacks on air navigation facilities constitute an offence under this Convention.
- The Beijing Protocol 2010 expands the scope of an earlier treaty, the Hague Convention 1970, to cover different forms of aircraft hijackings, including through modern technological means.
- Both treaties expand the grounds of criminal jurisdiction by (i) requiring each State Party to establish jurisdiction when the offence is committed by its national and (ii) enabling each State Party to establish jurisdiction when the victim of the offence is its national or when the offence is committed by a stateless person whose habitual residence is in its territory.
3 The accession to the two treaties follows the passing of the implementing legislation in Singapore in Parliament on 14 February 2022 - the Hijacking of Aircraft and Protection of Aircraft and International Airports (HAPAIA) (Amendment) Act. This Act, which will come into force on 1 September 2022, will strengthen the existing counter-terrorism legal framework and in turn, safeguard the safety and security of the international civil aviation system.
4 The threat of terrorism to Singapore remains high. Given the cross-border nature of such threats, international cooperation is necessary to combat them. With Singapore’s accession to the two treaties, Singapore joins in the collective efforts of the States Parties in the international civil aviation community to strengthen the existing counter-terrorism legal framework. This move strengthens Singapore's ability to deal with new and emerging terrorism-related threats to the safety and security of civil aviation and to better protect Singaporeans. It provides a clear basis to exercise Singapore’s criminal jurisdiction in a manner that is recognised and accepted by other States who have acceded to the treaties. In addition, it enhances Singapore’s capabilities to carry out enforcement actions against offenders who have committed acts that threaten Singapore and Singaporeans locally and abroad including facilitating the extradition of offenders and provision of mutual legal assistance.
About the Ministry of Transport
The Ministry of Transport formulates policies to strengthen Singapore’s transportation connectivity and to develop the transport sector’s potential to advance the economic competitiveness and the quality of life in Singapore.
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation.
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Ministry of Transport, Singapore
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore