On the second day of the High-level safety Conference, the more than 600 participants from some 150 ICAO Member States and industry unequivocally endorsed the twin concepts of transparency and sharing of safety-related information among States and with major stakeholders within the global aviation community, as well as with the general public.

 There was agreement that ICAO should be the body charged with coordinating the integration of the safety information provided by the international community as well as for the dissemination of safety intelligence. To that end, ICAO would convene a group of experts to define and harmonize safety metrics, associated data requirements and analysis processes.

 ICAO would also develop a code of conduct on the sharing of safety information, so as to ensure that such information is used solely to improve aviation safety and not for retribution or the purpose of gaining economic advantage.

Processes would be developed to provide the general public with access to relevant safety information which would allow them to make an informed decision about the safety of air transportation.

 Recommendations on these and other items will be reviewed and approved on the final day of the Conference, Thursday, 1 April. Recommendations will subsequently be submitted to the ICAO Council for consideration in the coming weeks.

Earlier in the Conference, in line with the discussions on the sharing of information as a means to improve aviation safety levels around the world, ICAO and three other State and industry parties signed a Declaration of Intent on the Development of a Global Safety Information Exchange Agreement: the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA); the Commission of the European Union (EC); and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

 In the weeks to come, representatives of the signatories will produce a work plan incorporating the following activities and concepts: identification of the safety information gathered by the Participants that would be most relevant to the enhancement of risk reduction activities; identification of the legal or policy constraints, if any, on the ability of Participants to share this information among the parties and development of mechanisms to overcome these constraints; identification of the appropriate timing of that information sharing; development of an efficient mechanism to ensure that this information is used to generate safety intelligence and identify critical safety trends in a timely fashion; development of policies and procedures to safeguard proprietary, confidentially submitted, and/or personal information in line with relevant applicable privacy laws, data sharing policies and regulations standardization of aspects of the audit metrics, data taxonomies etc, to maximize effective utilization of the safety information gathered in this process; and determination of how to disseminate this information globally as appropriate.

Tomorrow the conference will discuss the creation of a new Annex to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, one dedicated to safety processes.