Agenda and Explanatory Notes
Montréal, 26 to 28 October 2011
Theme 1:         Regional Cooperation for the enhancement of Safety oversight
Topic 1.1         Purpose and classification of RSOOs
RSOOs, including COSCAPs, share the common goal of strengthening the safety oversight capabilities of their member States and enabling a higher level of compliance with international aviation safety requirements. At the same time, however, they differ in the range of tasks that they carry out, their mandate and the level of authority delegated by their member States and their organizational, legal and financial structures.
Classifying RSOOs, in terms of their different characteristics will provide a better understanding of how best an RSOO might serve the needs of its member States, given the defining features of its region. It will also help the symposium to determine those structures that provide for the commitment of member States, effective delegation of tasks and functions and the long-term sustainability of the RSOO.
Topic 1.2         Benefits of regional cooperation
States that need to strengthen their safety oversight capabilities may lack the necessary resources, particularly in the area of trained expertise. Those States may opt for a number of possible solutions that may include: contracting the services of a commercial safety oversight entity; entering into a bilateral agreement with another State whose civil aviation authority is able to assist or join forces with other States in the region; or entering into an arrangement for regional cooperation. The latter may take the form of an RSOO or other less-institutionalized forms of regional cooperation, to include inspectorate sharing or cooperative schemes.
Even States capable of providing for their own safety oversight might seek to enter an agreement for cooperation with other States, or form an RSOO, for the purpose of implementing harmonized or common requirements aimed at standardizing and strengthening safety practices throughout the region.
The symposium will study the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches to strengthening safety oversight and determine their respective benefits in response to the expectations of States.
Topic 2.1       Enablers, obstacles and lessons learned
With respect to already-existing RSOOs, different approaches were taken in their establishment. In some cases a bottom-up approach was taken, whereby the creation of a COSCAP preceded and led to the establishment of a more formally, institutionalized body. In other cases, the establishment of an RSOO has followed a top-down approach, in which an RSOO resulted from decisions taken by an intra-regional political or economic body. Yet other RSOOs were established by, and remain closely affiliated with, a ‘parent’ technical institution.
In all cases, it is important to identify both the enablers and obstacles that might have an impact on the establishment and continued effective operation of an RSOO. The symposium will therefore identify critical steps that should be taken in the establishment of an RSOO and factors that either facilitate or hinder the development process. The symposium will offer an opportunity to learn from the experiences of organizations that have already gone through the process.
Topic 2.2         Funding and financial and technical assistance
2.2.1                Establishment of a funding mechanism to ensure the sustainability of an RSOO
Securing financial resources is one of the most important challenges for ensuring the smooth operation of an RSOO. It has, however, been a long-standing issue that some RSOOs struggle with financial difficulties, eventually leading to failure in achieving the goals set by their member States, as well as the loss of their operational sustainability. It is therefore vital to explore and develop various funding modalities and business models that adequately provide for the needs of RSOOs and enable long‑term sustainability of their operations/activities.
The fourth meeting of the joint Airport Economics and Air Navigational Services Economics Panels (AEP-ANSEP/4) was held in Montréal from 7 to 11 February 2011. Its conclusions on existing ICAO policies and guidance on charges and the establishment of a working group for developing guidance on the funding of safety oversight functions will be brought to the attention of the symposium. It is expected that the symposium will be able to consider the output of the working group with respect to the funding of RSOOs.
2.2.2                Promotion of financial and technical assistance from the international aviation community
An RSOO needs to put in place a funding mechanism that will ensure long-term sustainability. However, sustainable funding streams may only be realized once the RSOO’s operations are fully underway. Therefore, in the early stages of an RSOO’s establishment, donor funding, voluntary contributions and grants and loans might be essential for starting operations. For this reason, it would be useful for the symposium to explore ways and means of soliciting and securing funds from the aviation donor community and international and regional financial institutions.
In addition to financial assistance, different forms of technical assistance (for example, technical experts, training and documents) may be required to support the operations of an RSOO. Such assistance may be sourced from ICAO and other States and regional and international organizations. The symposium will therefore review the types of technical assistance needed by RSOOs and the programmes best suited for providing support.
Topic 3.1         The RSOO’s role in relation to new ICAO strategies and programmes
The role of an RSOO needs to be revisited in the context of the new strategies and programmes that have recently been initiated by ICAO. New ICAO provisions require States to develop and implement State Safety Programmes. The role of an RSOO in assisting its member States to develop and implement these programmes or, in some cases, implementing them on the behalf of States, and in developing a safety programme for its entire region should be examined. Similarly, the role and responsibility of RSOOs in the implementation of the continuous monitoring approach should be carefully examined.
It is essential that the work programme of an RSOO is aligned with its mandate and its strategic goals. The symposium will also provide participants an opportunity to discuss the role of the RSOO in respect to ICAO’s regional aviation safety groups and the implementation of the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan and its updates.
Topic 4.1         Roles of an RSOO in the management of safety information and/or data
Sharing of safety information amongst RSOOs and between RSOOs, their member States and the international aviation community should be ensured and facilitated so that it can be used to assess potential safety risks and develop corresponding countermeasures. In particular, there is a need to define the role of the RSOOs in terms of establishing and sharing databases for collecting, storing, analysing and sharing safety information/data. Coordination should be effected between RSOOs and other regional safety organizations, including Regional Accident and Incident Investigation Organizations (RAIOs) with respect to the sharing and exchange of safety information, including information relating to aircraft accidents.
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