I have recently completed a risk assessment of the safety and security of an airline's crews, engineers and aircraft while operating in a high risk environment during the period of a proposed wet lease. The 'donor' airline was registered in a state that has, and the airline itself has embraced, a relatively high level of risk aversion.
It is well known that there has been a longstanding history of terrorist attacks against commercial (and military) aviation in the location where the personnel and aircraft would be based and that numerous fatalities have resulted.
The state authorities advise that that "all foreigners, may not move out of their city of residence without proper security and without prior coordination with the law enforcement agency". The approach taken to providing security in civilian life, especially in relation to what might be considered 'soft targets' e.g. selected public highways and shopping malls, was evident and likely to aid deterrence and detection (of terrorists and planned attacks). There was meaningful evidence to suggest efforts had been taken to harden these (previously soft) targets and protect the related communities.
Security had been tightened at the state's international airports following a number of terrorist attacks in 2014 and further strengthened in 2015. A historic ban of locally registered airlines from operating into the EU for safety reasons had been lifted in 2015. ICAO and the USA consider that implementation of ICAO aviation safety standards in the state to exceed the global average. The airline with which the wet lease was proposed, is a member of IATA and therefore when last audited met the requirements of IOSA. Viewed in combination these facts provided evidence that the national aviation security and safety culture and infrastructure are widely considered to be sound. The main roads between the airports and hotels feature multiple manned checkpoints and the hotels where the crews and engineers were most likely to be staying, had robust security measures in place. The better quality shopping malls had entry search points operated by the military or other government agencies. It is known that places of worship and large public gatherings should be avoided and that periods leading-up to political elections can see increased civil tension and unrest. As in most business sectors and risk management environments, there was scope for continuous improvement to aviation security processes and procedures and implementation of best practices. But I considered existing measures to be relevant, adequate and sound. Accordingly, I concluded that subject to these measures being maintained, to the threat level not being raised to 'red' (the highest level) and to good situational awareness being exercised by operational personnel from the donor airline, when they are on site, the wet lease should not materially increase risk exposure. My assessment was that there are no substantive safety or security reasons why the proposed wet lease should not proceed as planned.