MONTRÉAL, 4 March 2013 – The governing Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved a new policy document that calls on its 191 Member States to reaffirm their commitment to support aviation accident victims and their families.
A resolution of the UN aviation body’s 32nd Assembly led to the publication of an earlier document on Guidance on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and their Families (ICAO Circular 285, 2001). The Circular stressed that assistance to persons involved in aircraft accidents was an indisputable humanitarian duty.
Acknowledging recently that some States had been responding more slowly than envisaged with respect to incorporating related provisions into their respective legislations, the ICAO Council has now escalated the relevant guidance to the policy level.
“Through this decision, ICAO’s Council Members have placed stronger emphasis on the need for States to take responsibility for the care of accident victims and their families,” commented ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González. “Elevating this issue to official policy level will hopefully accelerate States’ adoption of the necessary measures and better ensure that the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of accident victims and their next of kin is fully recognized and accommodated.”
Kobeh went on to stress the ICAO Council’s deep appreciation for the input and advice it has received over the course of these deliberations from numerous accident victim associations, notably those associated with the Air Crash Victims Families Group.