Montreal, October 7th 2022 The 41st Assembly of ICAO concluded today, with successful outcomes for ICCAIA and its members in all areas. There were over 2,500 delegates registered, from over 250 countries and organizations, including 45 participants from ICCAIA attending either in person or watching online. The Assembly reviewed more than 580 papers on topics across the spectrum of aviation interests, as well as hearing statements from Ministers, electing the ICAO Council for the next three years and hosting many side events, talks, workshops and social events.
ICCAIA presented 12 working papers and 3 information papers. The recommendations in all twelve working papers were taken up by the Assembly as concrete actions, including referral to expert groups and/or referral to the ICAO Council for consideration for inclusion in the ICAO work plan.
The Assembly adopted a Long Term Aspirational Goal for carbon reduction that aligns with the industry’s own ambition to achieve Net Zero operations by 2050, as well as the Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies and practices related to environmental protection – Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
ICCAIA’s paper Carbon Reduction Technology – Regulatory Framework Development to Facilitate Aeroplane and Engine Technology Developments for Carbon Reduction was well received by the Executive Committee, with many States supporting the recommendations and agreement to adopt the technology roadmap defined in the LTAG report and develop a parallel regulatory roadmap for certification, airworthiness and operations to enable manufacturers to develop those technologies to globally agreed standards and bring them to market.
Safety and Air Navigation
The Technical Commission reviewed over 200 papers on Safety and Air Navigation. Highlights included agreement on the importance of safety management systems, increased safety oversight where needed and updates to the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) and Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP).
Several States supported the recommendations laid out in ICCAIA’s working paper on the Next Era of Air Traffic and Airspace Management. Although the Commission did not feel that a new resolution was necessary, it agreed that the topic should be brought to the attention of the relevant expert groups.
ICCAIA’s paper on Wake Energy Retrieval operations was supported by several European States, and was referred to the Council of ICAO for consideration in its budget.
The topic of Halon Replacement received broad support from States; the Commission noted the need to ensure availability of options for aircraft fire-extinguishing agents through consideration of exemptions from regulation for halon replacement technologies.
There was no consensus reached on the need for additional work on challenges with Certification and Regulatory Approval for Specialized Firefighting aircraft. However, sufficient support was obtained to refer the paper to the Council of ICAO for further consideration. ICCAIA will highlight this issue at Council and ANC to ensure the concern is well understood.
The Commission supported ICCAIA’s working paper on CNS and Spectrum, which highlighted the importance of a mechanism and engagement from industry to ensure the foreseen ICNSS roadmaps and concepts to be addressed across all ICAO activities. It also highlighted the need for greater engagement with ITU and adopted a new Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies and practices related to a global air traffic management (ATM) system and communications, navigation, and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) systems, including a new appendix on ensuring the resilience of ICAO CNS/ATM systems and services.
The Technical Commission recognized the different views on greater automation and autonomy including ICCAIA’s WP/099 on Extended Minimum Crew Operations and agreed that further work was needed to develop a structured plan, based on a clear concept of operations, for safely addressing extended minimum crew operations. It referred the issue to the ICAO Council for consideration to be included in the budget and work plan.
There was strong support for ICCAIA’s paper on Aviation Safety for Regional Operations, with agreement to additional work by expert groups and the inclusion of amendments to highlight the issue in the draft Assembly resolution.
Facilitation and Health
The agenda items on health, facilitation and crisis response were reviewed by the Executive Committee. There were many papers dealing with the outcomes of the High-Level Conference on COVID-19 including numerous calls for the rapid implementation of the outcomes. We intervened on behalf of ICCAIA and ACI to support the resolution on this item, highlighting the need for a crisis response framework and harmonization of measures.
ICCAIA’s paper on an Integrated Approach to Health, Facilitation and Crisis Response was well supported by States. Action items and resolutions to create a crisis response framework including health measures were recorded under both the HLCC outcomes and Facilitation agenda items, so we can look forward to work commencing on this topic.
Although ICCAIA did not present any specific papers in the area of security, we intervened on behalf of ICCAIA and ACI to highlight the need for a holistic, risk-based, and consistent approach to aviation cybersecurity across the civil aviation sector, especially with the rapid evolution of technology, airspace and automation.
There was broad agreement from States on the need to increase efforts on cybersecurity for a more joined-up approach, while retaining flexibility of standards. An update to the resolution on cybersecurity was agreed.
There were several papers in the innovation agenda item dealing with the need for innovation in policy, processes and working methods. ICCAIA’s paper Policymaking and Processes for Innovation was well received by the Executive Committee of the Assembly, alongside our request for consideration of a Phased Approach to SARPS Applicability. Coupled with similar proposals for examination of the standards making process from the United States and New Zealand, which were cosponsored by several other States, the Assembly agreed several key actions including endorsement of the priorities of ICAO on the promotion of innovation in aviation in support of the ICAO Strategic Objectives.
These actions included the development of a regulatory roadmap and the organization of further ICAO-Industry Consultative Forum meetings. It also agreed to recognize the relevance and the importance of innovation in working methods, systems and technology and support the on-going work by ICAO on the direct submission process as a mean to support early implementation and innovation. On applicability dates, the Assembly requested that the ICAO Council should evaluate the root causes of global challenges in meeting specified applicability dates for certain SARPs, identify and define the types of SARPs that should be considered; identify, apply and prototype process improvements, including a phased approach to applicability dates.
We also welcome the Assembly’s request for ICAO to use existing and define new cooperation mechanisms to leverage upon industry expertise and resources to create efficiencies in the SARPs development process and to support Member State to streamline certification and audit processes in order to facilitate the uptake and operation of innovations.
This is a very positive outcome in the area of innovation, and we can look forward to a great deal of engagement on this topic.
On the topic of Urban Air Mobility, ICCAIA’s paper on Legal and Societal Stakes for the Emerging Air Mobility in Metropolitan Areas was supported, resulting in a recommendation to request ICAO to consider engaging with the appropriate government entities related to the operation of urban air mobility (UAM), within the context of ICAO’s upcoming work on advanced air mobility.
ICCAIA supported several papers on the topic of gender equality, as well as the update to the Assembly Resolution proposed by the Council. We also participated in a panel discussion hosted by IATA and IAWA and will continue to take the subject of diversity and inclusion forward at ICAO in the coming year, alongside initiatives to attract people into the aviation and aerospace industry.