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SAFETY, SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

AT THE HEART OF ASSEMBLY DELIBERATIONS
 
MONTRÉAL, 28 September 2010 – The 37th Session of the ICAO Assembly, representing 190 Member States, began its deliberations today on ways to substantially improve the safety, the security and the environmental sustainability of the global air transport system. The Assembly runs until 8 October.


“Air transport is critical to our global society. It represents some eight per cent of the world’s gross domestic product and is an economic lifeline for many developing countries. It is the responsibility of regulators, working in close cooperation with industry, to ensure that passengers and shippers can depend on the most efficient air transport services available,” said Roberto Kobeh González, President of the Council of ICAO.


SAFETY


On the question of safety, the Assembly will consider the adoption of a comprehensive strategy largely based on transparency and the greater sharing of information among States and with industry.

An important step in that direction was taken on the first day of the Assembly with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation among ICAO, the United States Department of Transportation, the European Commission and the International Air Transport Association to create a Global Safety Information Exchange in order to reduce the risk of accidents worldwide.

The safety strategy calls on States to make available information on the performance of their safety oversight systems. It also includes safeguards to ensure that sensitive information is used solely for safety reasons.

Overall, the new strategy provides regulators and industry with the tools and information they need to mitigate safety risks before they result in accidents.


SECURITY

As for aviation security, the Assembly will consider endorsing a declaration to address new and emerging threats to civil aviation following the attempted bombing of a commercial airliner on 25 December 2009. The Declaration reflects the commitment and political will of States, expressed during a series of regional conferences initiated by ICAO around the world, to work with all aviation stakeholders in strengthening the security net against terrorism.

The declaration emphasizes:

·        Stronger ICAO security standards and screening procedures, using the latest technology for detection of prohibited materials;
·        New security measures to protect airport facilities and improve in-flight security;
·        Enhanced travel document security and validation;
·        Greater transparency of results from the ICAO audit programme;
·        Increased cooperation among States and the civil aviation industry, including collection and transmission of passenger information, while ensuring privacy and civil liberties.
 
The Assembly will also be reviewing a comprehensive security strategy to update a global security plan of action put in place after the events of 11 September 2001.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

A proposal to build upon a Programme of Action on International Aviation and Climate Change adopted by ICAO Member States in 2009 will be the focus of discussions concerning efforts to mitigate the impact of aviation on the environment.


The Programme remains the first and only globally-harmonized agreement from a sector for addressing its CO2 emissions. It includes a global goal of 2 per cent annual fuel efficiency improvement up to the year 2050.
Earlier this year, ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) committed to a timetable for the CO2 standard, aiming at 2013. Once adopted, the standard will become the only global fuel-efficiency standard for any industry sector.

Also in 2009, the adoption by an ICAO conference of States and industry of a global framework on the development and deployment of sustainable alternative fuels positioned aviation to become the first sector to be able to use sustainable alternative fuels globally.

The proposal focuses on three main areas: more ambitious environmental goals; the development and application of a framework of market-based measures; and measures to assist States. Policies and recommendations from this Assembly will form the basis for aviation’s input to the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2010, in Mexico.
Note to editors: Details on these and specific Assembly agenda items are available on the ICAO Assembly Newsroom at: www.icao.int.

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 190 Contracting States.