Improving the passengers' experience and facilitating legitimate trade are key objectives of ECAC's activities in the field of facilitation, which is itself one of the strategic priorities of ECAC and is closely linked to aviation security.
ECAC's Focal Point for Facilitation is Alessio Quaranta, Director General for Civil Aviation in Italy.
Within the ECAC Secretariat, José Peral Pecharromán supports the activities of the facilitation groups.
ECAC's activities in the field of facilitation focus mainly on immigration matters and handling of persons with reduced mobility (PRMs). In each of these areas, ECAC provides policy guidelines and good practices to its Member States. Air cargo transport, health issues (e.g. aircraft disinsection methods) and other related topics within this broad field (e.g. automated bag drop solutions, assistance to victims of aircraft accidents and their families) are also part of ECAC facilitation discussions and activities.
ECAC supports the coordination of the positions of ECAC Member States participating in ICAO Facilitation Panel meetings, the last of which took place in April 2016, and contributes actively to the discussions at international level, particularly by providing practical proposals for amending ICAO Annex 9 and ICAO Facilitation Manual (Doc 9957).
Multilateral workshops are also organised in the field of facilitation, e.g. on Assistance to Victims of Air Accidents and their Relatives and on Best Practices for Member States on PRMs in 2016.
The current ECAC's structure in Facilitation is presented in the chart below and its work is conducted in close cooperation with other international organisations (e.g. European Commission, EASA, Frontex, ICAO) and stakeholders (e.g. IATA, ACI-EUROPE) as appropriate.
FACILITATION PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT GROUP (FPMG)
The Facilitation Programme Management Group (FPMG), chaired by the Focal Point for Facilitation and Security, comprises the Chairs of the Facilitation Working Group and its Sub-Groups, and the Deputy Executive Secretary. Its role is mainly to:
- Define and monitor the implementation of the ECAC work programme in Facilitation;
- Adopt new or amended Annexes to ECAC Doc 30, Part I; and
- Allocate specific projects and tasks, as necessary, in response to new challenges.
FACILITATION WORKING GROUP
The Facilitation Working Group, chaired by Frédéric Rocheray (Switzerland), is composed of members and observers from all civil aviation sectors, including users, customs, immigration, cargo and public health specialists. A close relationship is maintained with the European Commission, which has a particular interest in view of Community competency in certain matters such as customs and persons with reduced mobility.
The Group considers amendments to Doc 30, Part I and its Annexes, before submission to the FPMG and is supported by two Sub-Groups, addressing immigration and PRM matters respectively, and two point of contacts, in charge of health and cargo issues.
SUB-GROUP ON IMMIGRATION
The Immigration Sub-Group considers the facilitation aspects of immigration issues with the aim of sharing experience and developing best practice on border control procedures and implementation matters (e.g. inadmissible passengers and deportees, automated border control systems, biometrics collection, API and PNR). The Sub-Group focuses on the application of new technologies and the harmonisation of good practices and maintains several surveys in order to monitor initiatives in ECAC Member States (e.g. biometrics, air carrier liability, API and PNR).
Currently, Diantha Raadgers (Netherlands) is acting as temporary Chair of the Sub-Group until the formal appointment of a new chair.
SUB-GROUP ON TRANSPORT OF PERSONS WITH REDUCED MOBILITY (PRMs)
Chaired by Teresa Antunes (Portugal), the Sub-Group on Transport of Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRMs) focuses its work on the effective implementation of PRMs provisions in all ECAC Member States, and on promoting these provisions at the international level. It develops and keeps up-to-date a comprehensive set of guidelines, annexed to Doc 30, Part I, covering topics as staff training, pre-notification or website information to PRMs. The Sub-Group also maintains a database of PRM complains sent by ECAC Member States, and produces an analysis on the main trends in terms of areas of complain.
ECAC REFERENCE DOCUMENT IN FACILITATION
The document which contains ECAC policy recommendations on facilitation matters, such as persons with reduced mobility (PRMs), immigration, cargo or health is Doc 30, Part I - Facilitation. This document specifies policies adapted to the European context and is used as a reference in the development of the national regulations concerning facilitation in ECAC Member States. Doc 30, Part 1 also includes implementation guidance in its various Annexes.
Doc 30, Part I, Amendment n°6 (dated December 2016), can be downloaded here.