Main IATA navigation

HomeProgramsAviation SecuritySecurity Management System (SeMS)

Security Management System (SeMS)

IATA continues to promote the Security Management System (SeMS) approach based on the proven principles of the Safety Management System (SMS) with new updates in the 3rd Edition of the SeMS Manual. Additionally, and following new international requirements, some tools are being developed such as a new Security Incident Reporting Initiation & Awareness online micro learning - See It Report It, and a SeMS assessment tool (SeMS Competency Test). All these efforts have an aspirational goal of strengthening SeMS including the security culture by way of using modern and cost-effective approaches. 

Security Incident Reporting Initiation & Awareness

ICAO AVSEC Panel and ICAO Council encourage States, and all stakeholders to rapidly review and update the national requirements and syllabus of existing security awareness training programs to include incident reporting awareness and processes. In order to assist with this rapid implementation, IATA launched the See It Report It initiative. Contact us if you would like to become an early adopter.

The initiative includes videos on awareness and reporting. Both are available in 8 languages.

Awareness Videos: ArabicChineseEnglishFrenchJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish

Reporting Videos: ArabicChineseEnglishFrenchJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish


Embedding security into the business

IATA has demonstrated the value of the Security Management System (SeMS) through its IOSA Program for more than a decade. SeMS implementation contributed to the capability of airlines to manage security in an ever-changing reality. IATA is well-positioned to share its experience on SeMS with its member airlines and the aviation community. The aim is to support and promote implementation of SeMS principles within the entire aviation industry. To enable this objective, IATA is releasing the third edition of the SeMS Manual in November 2019. Through the SeMS Manual , IATA expresses the belief that the SeMS approach is a natural path of evolution in thinking of security, risk assessment, and as such should be adopted and integrated by other stakeholders to achieve further improvement of the aviation security generally. IATA therefore, encourages all actors to recognize the value-added of implementing SeMS in a manner tailored to individual needs. 

Building a security culture

SeMS reinforces and integrates the security culture. It focuses on the role of human factor. A security culture should be promoted through a 'lead by example' approach and formulated through the company’s Security Policy to get the buy-in of the frontline staff into the importance of security. In this context, good awareness and training, and good information exchange using the security reporting is indispensable. To facilitate collection of data in a structured manner, IATA promotes the security occurrences’ taxonomy (pdf) and the template of the security report form.

IATA promotes the use of Incident Data Exchange (IDX), a data management platform, integrating all sources of operational data received from various channels. IDX represents a unique opportunity for IATA and its members to take meaningful steps towards measuring the performance of security. For the first time in the 45 year history of ICAO Annex 17, we have an agreed taxonomy from which we can start to analyse and learn from security occurrences in specific locations over specific time periods. The derived analysis in turn provides IATA, again for the first time, an edge in terms of advocacy over other industry observer organisations. IATA will be able to walk into a classified security setting and support observations on threat, vulnerability and risk with arguments based on quantitative information. IDX will be supported by the open source information analysis tool currently in development, and thus IATA will be able to directly assist security agencies in the proactive identification of vulnerability and areas where the performance of security measures require further assessment. Moreover, through this long awaited data-driven approach, IATA will incrementally grow from a mutual interest stakeholder that is it today to becoming a trusted industry to government partner. 

SeMS defined

SeMS encompasses the following key elements (IOSA SEC 1.1.1) enabling effective management of security:

  • Senior management and corporate commitment
  • Resources Management
  • Threat assessment and risk management
  • Management of emergencies and incidence
  • Quality control and quality assurance  

Through SeMS, risks can be identified, prioritized and systematically mitigated using well-informed decisions.​​​​​​​​

Need Help?

Contact us

Our mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry

Additional information