The European and North Atlantic Office (EUR/NAT) held a EUR/NAT DGCA teleconference for the Eastern part of EUR region on 16 April 2020 with the objective to inform about ICAO 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. 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 40 participants from 9 States, and 3 international organizations including ICAO headquarters and EUR/NAT Regional office and the main language used was Russian. In addition to the ICAO updates, information and presentations were introduced by Kazakhstan, IATA and IAC. Mr. Zhanat Abdugalimov, Safety Focal point for CAA KAZ said during his intervention: "The Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan appreciates the ICAO EUR/NAT Regional office initiative for the harmonised approach related to the recovery of the civil aviation industry in the CIS region due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We definitely support this initiative and welcome further communication and coordination within the CIS region."
The meeting also had the participation of Mr. Levan Karanadze, EASPG Vice Chair and DGCAA Georgia, who expressed his appreciation for this timely initiative with these words: "For States and industry, timely, coordinated and harmonized approach and measures have utmost importance for overcoming the COVID-19 negative impact. In these circumstances, regional cooperation and the ICAO EUR/NAT office role are crucial in identifying States' needs and difficulties, providing relevant information, forecast and possible scenarios as well as sharing the best practices and expectations. Timely discussion and decision making are critical. I would like to thank the ICAO EUR/NAT team and encourage member states to follow actively and contribute to the discussions."
Following this meeting, next Monday 20 April, there will be sub-regional teleconference to support the Mahgreb States in the North Africa part of Europe with a special focus on operational Safety measures. The meeting will be held in French.
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.