Outcome of discussions on climate change at 40th ICAO Assembly: ECAC's comments

From 24 September to 4 October 2019, the 40th ICAO Assembly took place in Montreal, setting out the organisation's priorities for the next three years. The discussions on climate change were particularly challenging. READ MORE



Europe at the 40th ICAO Assembly

Montreal, 24 September – 4 October 2019 — A major focus of work in the last months in ECAC Member States and in the ECAC Secretariat, the European Commission, EASA and EUROCONTROL have been the preparations for and participation in the 40th session of the ICAO Assembly held from 24 September to 4 October in Montreal.  Europe played a very full part in the Assembly, tabling 15 working papers and 3 information papers on behalf of the 44 ECAC Member States, and actively and constructively contributing to all areas of the agenda. From the European standpoint, the discussions were fruitful across the key policy areas, and the main priorities were achieved.

On the environment, climate change focused most of the attention. The Assembly reconfirmed by a clear majority its support to the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), in spite of vocal opposition from three major States during the debate. The Resolution on climate change was adopted, noting that an agreement was reached on prioritising work on the feasibility of a long-term CO2 emissions reduction goal in order to present options for consideration at the next ICAO Assembly in 2022, which represents a positive step forward.

On facilitation matters, there was overwhelming support for the European working paper on assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families, and for the topic of accessibility for passengers with disabilities, which was identified as a European priority. The discussions led to the inclusion of supportive references to both topics in the new Assembly Resolution at the initiative of European States.

On security, a new Aviation Security Declaration was adopted, based on an initial proposal from Europe, and setting clear goals on the priorities to be pursued in this field.



ICAO elects eight European States to its new Council

Montreal, 24 September - 4 October 2019 - Europe was succesful in securing eight seats in the newly elected ICAO Council:

Finland (representing the NORDICAO rotation group)
Greece (representing the CERG rotation group)
The Netherlands (representing the ABIS rotation group)
United Kingdom

The Council is the governing body of ICAO and its members are elected by the Assembly for a three-year term. For more information: https://www.icao.int/Meetings/a40/Pages/election-of-the-council.aspx



Spain hosts 68th Directors General summer meetings:
focus on European priorities and ambitions for
40th ICAO Assembly

Malaga, 29-31 August 2019 — ECAC Directors General, joined by the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), EUROCONTROL, ICAO EUR/NAT Office and JAA TO, gathered in Malaga for their annual meeting hosted by an ECAC Member State.

The meeting was honoured to welcome Spanish Secretary of State for Transport Maria José Rallo, who delivered a keynote speech highlighting the criticality of air transport as Spain celebrates its 100th year of aviation. Her address was complemented by a presentation from Director General Raùl Medina Caballero on Spain's vision on how to address the civil aviation challenges of the future.

As this was the last gathering of ECAC Directors General before the 40th session of the ICAO Assembly (24 September - 4 October), strategic discussions focused on European priorities to be brought to the international arena and on the upcoming ICAO Council elections. On this topic, ECAC President Ingrid Cherfils informed the meeting about her recent contacts with regional organisations (ACAO, AFCAC, LACAC), and Salvatore Sciacchitano, the European candidate running for the ICAO Council Presidency elections, shared his vision for the future of ICAO.

As is customary during DGCA meetings, Directors General heard updates on EU aviation developments from Pekka Henttu, DGCA Finland on behalf of the European Union Presidency, and European Commission Director-General Henrik Hololei (DG MOVE), on international cooperation at EASA from Executive Director Patrick Ky, and on the ATM summer performance from EUROCONTROL Director General Eamonn Brennan. On the last day, JAA TO Chairman Alessio Quaranta and Director Paula Almeida presented the outcome of recent activities, new initiatives and some facts and figures about the training organisation.

Appointments: ECAC Coordinating Committee Focal Point for Economic matters and JAA TO Board member

Two other important meetings were held over the three days. First, an informal meeting of the ECAC Coordinating Committee that saw the appointment of Dan Micklethwaite (DGCA United Kingdom) as ECAC's new Focal Point for Economic matters and Luis Miguel Ribeiro (DGCA Portugal) as member of the JAA TO Board.

Adoption of new ECAC Resolution at ECAC/37

Secondly, ECAC Directors General met in a Special Plenary Session (ECAC/37), where they adopted a Resolution on the creation of an association for ECAC under French law in order to support ECAC's activities. Amendments to the ECAC Constitution (Doc No 20, 7th edition) were also adopted, notably incorporating the terms of reference of the recently created Focal Point on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, a position currently held by Raùl Medina Caballero (DGCA Spain).

DGCA/152: Directors General focus on European preparations for 40th ICAO Assembly

Paris, 6-7 May 2019 — Directors General gathered in Paris for their first meeting of the year, joined by observers EASA, the European Commission, the ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office and JAA TO. The meeting was honoured to welcome Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission, Tefera Mekonnen, invited to share his organisation's developments in view of the upcoming ICAO Assembly. Addressing delegates, Mr Mekonnen emphasised AFCAC's commitment to strengthening the cooperation and mutual understanding with ECAC and its Member States. He spoke of his appreciation of the ECAC/AFCAC collaboration on the CASE Project, which provides invaluable support to AFCAC's Member States on capacity building programmes in the aviation security field.

With the 40th ICAO Assembly taking place in September and October, a significant share of the meeting's discussions focused on the status of preparation of European papers for the Assembly. Directors General endorsed six papers: five in the safety and ATM domains and one on environment. For the first time, Directors General were joined in their discussions by industry representatives from ASD, ACI EUROPE and IATA, who shared their organisations' priorities for the Assembly.

Annemarie Smith Floch, representative of Ireland and the ABIS Group on the ICAO Council, updated the meeting on recent developments in ICAO, including on the main outcomes of the 216th ICAO Council Session. Armand Petrescu, Director General for Civil Aviation of Romania, the current holder of the EU Presidency, presented an overview of the presidency's accomplishments to date and priorities until the end of its mandate on 30 June. Pekka Henttu, Director General for Civil Aviation, Finland, provided a report on the work of the Wise Persons Group on the future of the Single European Sky, while the European Commission briefed the meeting on the latest activities in the European Commission, focusing in particular on external relations developments.

In the safety and ATM domains, EUROCONTROL and EASA shared their organisations' recent developments. Eamonn Brennan, EUROCONTROL Director General, in particular highlighted EUROCONTROL's re-appointment as Network Manager until 2030 and the recent release of the Airspace Architecture study prepared in collaboration with SESAR, which defines how Europe's airspace architecture should look in the medium- to long-term (2025-2035) and what practical steps would need to be taken to make it a reality. He also spoke of the strong coordination and engagement with industry in Europe and the joint work programme between EUROCONTROL and EASA. EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky focused his intervention on providing an overview of the measures taken following the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 MAX accidents.

Preparations for the August Special meeting of Directors General in Malaga, the 12th ECAC Forum in December on the theme of sustainable environment, and the autumn 2020 ECAC/EU Dialogue with the air transport industry also featured on the agenda

Coordinating Committee hosts US delegation in Paris

Paris, 28 March 2019 The members of the ECAC Coordinating Committee met with a delegation from the United States authorities. Led by Hugo Yon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, Department of State, the nine-strong US delegation comprised representatives of the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration.
The main objective of this 23rd meeting between European and US counterparts was to continue their regular exchange of views on topics of common interest, including on environmental issues, with discussions on the implementation of CORSIA and the latest developments in supersonic aircraft.
With the 40th Assembly coming up in the autumn, ICAO-related matters were high on the agenda this year, with both delegations sharing their respective priorities in various domains, such as aviation security and safety, and their views on the ICAO Council elections.
The next meeting between the Coordinating Committee and the United States authorities will take place in 2021 in Washington DC.


Strengthening cooperation between ECAC and regional organisation ACAO

Paris, 20 March 2019 ECAC President Ingrid Cherfils and Acting Executive Secretary Patricia Reverdy met with Director General of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization (ACAO) Abdennebi Manar on the sidelines of the 2nd ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) meeting of Directors General in Paris. The two parties discussed their ongoing cooperation and enhancing support among the sister regional organisations.

Kuwait, 24 March 2019Exchanges between ECAC and ACAO continued later in the month when Ms Cherfils and Ms Reverdy visited Kuwait to meet with Chairman of the General Assembly of ACAO and President of Civil Aviation of Kuwait, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al-Sabah, who was accompanied by Abdennebi Manar.

The discussions focused on existing and future cooperation between the two regional organisations and events to be jointly organised in the coming years. Ahead of the 40th Session of the ICAO Assembly, the two parties exchanged information on their respective priorities in the areas of safety, security, facilitation, the environment and economic matters, and the forthcoming elections of the ICAO Council and the ICAO
Council President.


 Sixth edition of the Europe-Asia Pacific Aviation Security Forum in Paris

Paris, 25-26 February 2019  — ECAC and the Ministry of Transport of Singapore organised the sixth edition of the Europe-Asia Pacific Aviation Security Forum in Paris at the end of February, bringing together over 60 experts from Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Over two days, the participants had the opportunity to exchange information and experiences on current aviation security priorities and recent developments in their regions in an endeavour to promote the global implementation of international aviation security requirements.

Held every two years, this year the Forum addressed the evolution of threats, technology and innovation, security training and culture, and cyber security and disruptive technologies. Discussions were spread across four sessions moderated by Carla Pinto (Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority), Douglas Yeo (Singapore Ministry of Transport), Hugo Porter (New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority) and Urs Haldimann (Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation),

The first session of the Forum looked at the evolution of threats in the regions and the approaches taken by States to address emerging challenges to aviation security. Discussions focused on insider threats, non-metallic improvised explosive devices, threats from remotely piloted aircraft systems including the measures to address them, as well as additional measures to protect passengers attending major events.

Security technology and innovation, and the operational challenges linked to the deployment of new technology were the focus of the second session. Participants considered how technology is used to support aviation security, the regulator and airport perspectives on experience gained from deployment of the latest screening solutions at airports in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, and the use of deep learning algorithms in screening equipment.

In the third session, participants discussed security training and culture as tools to further strengthen aviation security at national and entity level. They shared experiences and lessons learned on the current challenges in aviation security training, on best practices to enhance staff motivation, and on various aspects of security culture, including how to improve it at airport level, the key challenges faced by airlines in the Asia Pacific region, and the value of occurrence reporting.

Finally, the fourth session focused on cyber security and disruptive technologies. Speakers elaborated on cyber security arrangements in their own States, incident and occurrence reporting systems for cyber security in civil aviation, airport cyber security, e-commerce and its influence on aviation security, cyber security in the cargo security supply chain and ATM risks from digitalisation and artificial intelligence.

Throughout the two days, the Forum provoked lively debate and offered much food for thought. Key conclusions included: the need to constantly review and adjust mitigation measures to reflect the evolution of the threat picture; that people are security's biggest asset and that it is vital to strive to find the right conditions to keep staff motivated and trained; and the importance of sharing information amongst all partners to encourage further collaboration.



West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) visits ECAC

Paris, 21 February 2019 - ECAC Acting Executive Secretary Patricia Reverdy, Aviation Security Audit and Capacity Building Officer, Adam Borkowski, and CASE Project Coordinator, Antoine Zannotti met with a delegation from the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on visit to ECAC's offices following their participation in the CASE Project Technical Seminar in Brussels earlier in the week.

The WAEMU delegation was led by Paul Koffi Koffi, Commissioner of the Department of Community Territorial Administration and Transport, who was joined by Adébayo Samson Balogoun, Director for Transport in the WAEMU Commission, and Tcha-Didjoré Deybou Bah-Traoré, Coordinator of the WAEMU Programme of Inspections and Audits.

The two delegations discussed the status of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between ECAC and WAEMU in 2006. Several future joint actions in the fields of aviation security and economic regulation were discussed during the meeting. These included the organisation of training for vulnerability assessors on landside security, the organisation of workshops on insider threats and cyber security, as well as the provision of targeted assistance to States to support their aviation security regimes.




Second ECAC Environmental Forum in Paris

Paris, 10-11 December 2018 The second meeting of the Environmental Forum, chaired by Michael Lunter (Netherlands), brought together representatives of ECAC Member States, European organisations and stakeholders from the aviation industry, environmental NGOs and civil society. For the first time, the meeting also welcomed representatives of Canada, Singapore and the United States in an endeavour to further strengthen the relationship between ECAC and its key international partners.
The participants had an exchange of  views on potential key challenges for 2019 and beyond, which led to an interesting debate on pathways to decarbonising aviation. An entire session was dedicated to exchanging information on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) implementation, including in terms of technical assistance and capacity building. In this respect, the meeting recalled the Bratislava Declaration and Europe's commitment to mutual support between ECAC Member States and towards other regions in an effort to make this historic agreement a reality.
Information was also shared on research work undertaken to better understand aircraft noise and emissions exposure, effect, perception and acceptability, which led to lively discussion on the World Health Organization's Environmental Noise Guidelines for Europe, and on supersonic air transport.
Following the discussion on pathways to the decarbonisation of aviation, the meeting decided to plan an Environmental Forum dedicated to energy management, including the potential of e-fuels, before summer 2019.

End-of-year meeting for ECAC's Directors General of Civil Aviation

Paris, 5 December 2018 Directors General were joined by observers EASA, the European Commission, the ICAO EUR/NAT Office and JAA TO for their last meeting of the year at the ECAC premises in Paris.
They heard reports from the Focal Points (members of the Coordinating Committee appointed to be responsible for leading specific fields of ECAC activities) on achievements in 2018 in the fields of safety, accident investigations, environment, security and facilitation, as well as on economic and legal matters.
It was also the occasion to share a brief summary of the conclusions reached at the previous day's 11th ECAC Forum. The end-of-year reporting included the topics under discussion in the various ECAC working groups, their achievements so far, and the priorities for 2019.
With the 40th ICAO Assembly scheduled in September 2019, these priorities are designed to reflect the dossiers ECAC Member States will want to address in the global forum. Common positions and strategy in view of next September's Assembly were therefore discussed at length.
Directors General also received updates on the status of current aviation topics at the European Union level, with briefings from the current (Austria) and future (Romania) EU Council Presidencies as well as the European Commission itself. EASA provided an overview of its environmental resources and expertise, and the role it can play to strengthen and add value to the European processes.
The meeting was pleased to welcome newly appointed Director General of Civil Aviation for Armenia, Tatevik Revazyan, and conveyed best wishes to Silvia Gehrer, Director General of Civil Aviation for Austria (International) who will join the ICAO EUR/NAT Office in Paris as Regional Director as from 1 February 2019.


ECAC FORUM: Directors General consider solutions to the challenges of aviation growth

Paris, 4 December 2018 Over 60 high-level delegates from 29 ECAC Member States, EASA, EUROCONTROL, the European Commission and ICAO assembled with special guest speakers for the 11th annual ECAC Forum of Directors General.
The ever-increasing demand to fly has led to a boost in traffic and puts the responsibility on all civil aviation stakeholders to expand in a sustainable manner to avoid losing the benefits of growth. This year's Forum set out to explore solutions that have been, or could be, put in place to tackle the challenges created by the expected growth in the aviation sector.
Spread across three sessions, the discussions were expertly led by moderators Silvia Gehrer, Director General International (Austria), Halla Sigurdardottir, Deputy Director General  (Iceland) and Flor Diaz Pulido, Head of Unit for Aviation Policy at the European Commission's DG MOVE.
Joe Sultana (EUROCONTROL) set the scene in the first session presenting the aviation growth forecasts to 2040 and the main constraints on infrastructure and safety, while Stephen Perkins (International Transport Forum) offered a global overview of civil aviation growth.
The second session explored experiences at the national and local levels from the perspective of Member States, industry and NGOs, and how these stakeholders are seeking to find a balance between growth and the socio-economic, safety and environmental needs. Michael Gill (ATAG) gave the air transport industry's perspective, highlighting the importance of a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders, while Olivier Jankovec (ACI EUROPE) spoke about coping with the challenges of airport capacity growth. Tim Johnson (Aviation Environment Federation) presented the challenges of balancing environmental priorities with growth, drawing attention in particular to the effects of noise on health.
Luis Ribeiro (DGCA Portugal) gave his State's perspective on guaranteeing safety in times of high traffic growth, while Michal Witkowski (CAA Poland) focused on the growth and infrastructure constraints at Polish airports. Dan Micklethwaite (DGCA United Kingdom) presented the case of the planned Heathrow Airport expansion and the proposed environmental and communities package to support local communities and mitigate the environmental impact of growth on them. He also highlighted the importance of sharing the benefits of growth with local communities.
In the third and final session, Jonathan Wober (CAPA - Centre for Aviation) and Stephen Perkins proposed potential solutions to address the environmental, infrastructure, capacity, and technological challenges raised during the debates and thus sustainably accommodate the forecast growth in the sector.
Throughout the day, the Forum provoked lively debate and offered much food for thought. Key conclusions included the need for the sector to communicate better and be more self-confident in presenting the positive and beneficial aspects of aviation growth, that sustainability should be at the centre of all decision-making and connected to all aspects of aviation matters, and that it is critical for regulators and stakeholders to cooperate closely to ensure the benefits of growth are widely shared.