CANSO focusing on safety and security at ICAO Assembly

14 October 2016

Every three years the member States that make up the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meet to take key decisions on aviation matters. Last week some 2,400 State delegates, advisers and observers met in Montreal to consider more than 450 papers submitted by ICAO, States as well as the aviation industry. CANSO was well represented with 16 in a delegation led by CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole.

The big news was the Assembly’s decision to approve a global market-based measure to help mitigate the impact of aviation on greenhouse gas emissions. All parts of the aviation industry, including CANSO, worked under the umbrella of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) to deliver the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for Aviation (CORSIA), which will start in 2021. This marks a major milestone towards the fulfilment of the fourth pillar of aviation’s four-pillar strategy to reduce its emissions. CANSO welcomed the decision and our strong message was that the ATM industry will continue to focus on pillar two – improving the efficiency of aircraft operations; and pillar three – improving ATM infrastructure.

CANSO submitted five Working Papers and several joint papers at the Assembly.  All the CANSO papers had a positive response during the discussions in the different Commissions and were accepted.

The paper on the CANSO Standard of Excellence in Air Navigation Services – Safety (SEANS-Safety) was accepted by the Assembly and recognised as an industry-lead independent assessment tool for implementing safety management systems in the ANSPs of member States.

The Assembly endorsed the action points in the CANSO working paper on Just Culture, requesting States to review their national legislation to include Just Culture in their voluntary safety reporting systems.

The paper on enhancing information-sharing when overflying conflict zones resulted in the Assembly endorsing the urgent need to collect and notify changes in the threat assessment; and keep ANSPs and aircraft operators informed in a more timely fashion. The Assembly agreed that the ICAO Council should investigate methods of collecting and disseminating this information.

The CANSO paper on a Defence Strategy for Cybersecurity underlined the importance of protecting all digital information and systems within aviation networks, and called for greater coordination among the many aviation communities using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems. There were several other papers on cybersecurity by other organisations. The Assembly agreed to establish a global framework for civil aviation stakeholders to address cybersecurity; and for all stakeholders to share information on cyber threats, incidents, trends and mitigation efforts.

The paper on Project Loon “Floating Cell Phone Towers in the Sky” called on States and ANSPs to ensure safe overflight provision. The Assembly noted that this initiative directly supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by bringing the internet to under-served parts of the world.

Finally, together with ACI, IATA and ICCAIA, CANSO hosted a joint industry reception at which we welcomed new ICAO Council Members, said goodbye to departing Council Members and thanked ICAO for its support to our organisations.

Overall, it was a successful Assembly for CANSO with all our working papers receiving positive feedback and endorsement by the Assembly. The actions in the CANSO working papers that were accepted will be included in the work of the ICAO secretariat and CANSO will coordinate with the ICAO secretariat to ensure these actions are included in the ICAO work plan 2017 - 2019.



  • ICAO

About the author

Nico Voorbach, Director ICAO and Industry Affairs CANSO

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