How ICAO Develops Standards

The establishment and maintenance of international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), as well as Procedures for Air Navigation (PANS), are fundamental tenets of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and a core aspect of ICAO’s mission and role.

 

SARPs and PANS are critical to ICAO Member States and other stakeholders, given that they provide the fundamental basis for harmonized global aviation safety and efficiency in the air and on the ground, the worldwide standardization of functional and performance requirements of air navigation facilities and services, and the orderly development of air transport.

 

Today, ICAO manages over 12,000 SARPs across the 19 Annexes and five PANS to the Convention, many of which are constantly evolving in concert with latest developments and innovations.

 

The development of SARPs and PANS follows a structured, transparent and multi-staged process – often known as the ICAO “amendment process” or “standards-making process” – involving a number of technical and non-technical bodies which are either within the Organization or closely associated with ICAO.

 

Typically, it takes approximately two years for an initial proposal for a new or improved Standard, Recommended Practice or procedure to be formally adopted or approved for inclusion in an Annex or a PANS. Occasionally, this timescale can be expanded or compressed depending on the nature and priority of the proposal under consideration.

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