The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations, which sets the standards and recommended practices that foster the safe and orderly development of civil aviation. CANSO has official ‘observer status’ at ICAO, which enables CANSO to participate in ICAO’s activities and initiatives.

The purpose of CANSO’s engagement of ICAO is to be the global voice of air traffic management at the global forum that determines the institutional and regulatory framework for air navigation service provision. CANSO’s primary role is to influence the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), procedures, policies and other guidance material that States will use to meet their obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

CANSO’s engagement also provides CANSO Members with insights into ICAO work programmes and initiatives that may affect them. Through its participation in these work programmes, CANSO helps define the requirements that need global standardisation (the “what”) and the means by which those regulatory requirements can best be met through the development of industry best practice (the “how”).

One example of CANSO’s input into key air traffic management initiatives has been its contribution to the development of ICAO’s Global Air Navigation Plan, approved in 2013. An important element of the GANP was the launch of the Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs) methodology, which provide a framework for planning and implementation of a safe, efficient and globally harmonised aviation system up to 2030. CANSO has been instrumental in cooperating with States, air navigation service providers and industry partners to implement the ASBUs by providing guidance material, awareness-raising seminars and training courses.

CANSO also engages ICAO at the regional level through participation in ICAO regional planning and implementation groups (PIRGs) and their various sub groups. 

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