25-Sep-2013 9:39 AM

EU outlines its objectives at ICAO assembly

EU outlined (24-Sep-2013) the following main issues is will pursue at the ICAO 38th assembly:

  • Safety: More work on safety management will be necessary, as well as a bigger role for regional organisations. Europe seeks to share its experience, as well as provide guidance and ideas, with the aim of ensuring that further growth in aviation can take place whilst becoming safer;
    • Europe wants ICAO to take a position which goes further in recognising and promoting the advantages of a 'regional' approach to safety. Europe is looking to ICAO to reinforce its recognition of the benefits that a regional approach to safety brings – allowing for greater efficiencies, sharing of expertise and raising standards across the board – and for ICAO to promote this approach in other regions of the world where appropriate;
    • Europe will also be looking to ICAO for further progress as regards civil aviation oversight and management at a global level, notably through the adoption of a proactive stance in promoting a greater use of risk management as a general principle in safety procedures;
    • The assembly is expected to adopt a resolution that reiterates and reinforces the benefits of regional cooperation, and to ensure that this gets reflected in ICAO's rulemaking activities, notably as regards the further development of its annex on safety management, as well as its safety monitoring activities in the context of its universal safety oversight audit programme;
  • Security: More mutual recognition between states and regions with good security standards. The assembly will discuss how to have a more secure, while at the same time more efficient, aviation security system. The assembly is expected to approve the revision of the Resolution A37-17 on "Policies related to the safeguarding of international civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference". In particular:
    • Europe is keen on the finalisation of reinforced air cargo security rules. However, work remains to be done on air cargo and mail security;
    • Europe also supports the adoption of a mechanism for the mutual recognition of security measures. States would recognise the equivalence of aviation security measures with the same standards of security. This would pave the way to a 'one-stop' security approach;
    • Europe supports rules which are more risk-based rather than the "one size fits all" approach in the design of international measures. This is important to determine proportionate actions against acts of unlawful interference and allocate efficiently resources at operational level;
    • Europe would also like work to be done on improving assistance to capacity-building activities in states that have a significant need to improve their compliance with international standards, but also to introduce some accountability for the recipient states;
    • Supporting a sustainable aviation security system is also important, so that new rules are not only effective and efficient from the security perspective, but also operationally viable and economically feasible;
  • Air navigation/air traffic management: EU stated the assembly should adopt the "global air navigation plan", and by doing so lay down a roadmap for the eventual modernization of the world's ATM system. EU stated the assembly should adopt the global air navigation plan, and related aviation system block upgrades, to lay down a roadmap for the eventual modernisation of the world's ATM system;
  • Air transport/aviation economics: EU will push for more liberalisation in terms of market access and air carrier ownership and control, in balance with the need for fair competition and consumer protection. The Mar-2013 ICAO Air Transport Conference adopted "useful, balanced and progressive" conclusions in key areas of the economic regulation of international air transport such as market access, the liberalisation of air carrier ownership and control, fair competition and consumer rights. The assembly is expected to deliver results on the following issues:
    • Adopt a "long-term vision" for market access liberalisation including through a possible multilateral agreement;
    • Make progress on a multilateral agreement to liberalise air carrier ownership and control;
    • Update guidance rules on fair competition, which was confirmed by the conference as an "important general principle in the operation of international air services";
    • Develop core principles on consumer protection.
  • Air transport/aviation economics: The impact of international aviation on climate change and the various measures to mitigate this impact: The EU has already included aviation in its emissions trading scheme (ETS) and is now seeking a "landmark" agreement at the ICAO assembly on a global measure.  In order to address the climate impacts of aviation and reduce CO2 emissions the European Commission would like the assembly to establish - in addition to a range of operational and technical measures - an agreement on the development of a global market-based measure which can be in place by 2020. The design of this global scheme, which is also strongly supported by the global aviation industry, should be completed by the time of the next ICAO assembly, which takes place in 2016. [more - original PR]

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