The European and North Atlantic Office (EUR/NAT) held a EUR/NAT DGCA teleconference for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia on 20 April 2020 with the objective to inform about ICAO's COVID-19 crisis response measures, share the lessons and best practices learned and start the discussions with the States of accreditation on recovery planning. The call was opened by Ms. Silvia Gehrer, Regional Director, EUR/NAT Office, chaired by Mr. Elkhan Nahmadov, Deputy Regional Director and had the participation of DGs of CAAs and their chiefs of flight operations and of air transport. This meeting had a special focus on some of the crisis response measures and actions required from States to the ICAO SL AN 11/55-20/50 dated 3 April 2020, including those related to operational issues, maintenance of aviation licenses, approvals and certificates for preparedness to resume normal operations once the crisis is over.
The virtual meeting had a total of 23 participants from the 3 States, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as 2 international organizations ACAO and ICAO headquarters and EUR/NAT Regional Office. The main language used was French. In addition to the ICAO updates on the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on the aviation industry, the meeting participants discussed the many operational impacts the crisis has on State's obligations regarding personnel licensing, aircraft operations, airworthiness, facilitation, accident investigation, air navigation and security. The meeting participants, and in particular the Director of civil aviation and meteorology of Algeria, Ms. Aicha BOUROUIS, the Director of civil aviation of Morocco, M. Zakaria BELGHAZI and the Director of the Tunisian civil aviation authority, M. Hedi CHARFADI recognized the urgent need to take the necessary actions to maintain the sustainability of air transport within the region and globally, while maintaining the highest level of safety and security. All shared mitigation measures implemented in their countries, and agreed for the need for a harmonized approach related to the recovery of the civil aviation industry in the region as well as for further communication and coordination within the EUR/NAT regions.
The representatives from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia acknowledge the ICAO EUR/NAT Office for organizing this coordination call allowing the States to exchange information during these exceptional circumstances.
The ACAO Representative, Mr. Manar, supported and thanked the ICAO EUR/NAT Office for organizing this important exchange amongst States.
The EUR/NAT office will continue organizing additional focused meetings for groups of States that need further support. All meetings organized are part of a series of initiatives the EUR/NAT Office is currently undertaking to enhance the outreach and support required by the 56 States from these regions at this time of crisis and for the imminent requirement to gather their input on recovery planning moving forward.