ICAO Council adopts new amendments supporting electronic pilot licenses, flight operations, and continuing airworthiness responsibilities

Montréal, 15 March 2022 – The ICAO Council made progress last week on adopting new Amendments to several safety-related Annexes of the Chicago Convention in relation to new international standards for electronic pilot licenses, flight operations, and continuing airworthiness responsibilities. In most cases the new standards will become applicable on 3 November 2022.

Amendment 178 to Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing of the Chicago Convention introduces new provisions for the use of electronic pilot licenses, which are increasingly being used by ICAO Member States. It sets out a new common format to provide for simplified license verification by other States. 

By assisting in the wider adoption of e-licenses, the amendment will also reduce the number of printed licenses in circulation and realize cost reduction and environmental benefits.

“In developing these Standards, care has also been taken to ensure that countries intending to implement electronic licenses will also have to realize systems for their simplified offline verification,” noted ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano. 

In Amendments to Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft to the Convention, safety features have been proposed including the use of ground proximity warning systems by smaller aeroplanes, and the introduction of a runway overrun awareness and alerting system intended to reduce runway excursion incidents and accidents. There is also clarification on the need for an aircraft pilot to consider the level of rescue and fire-fighting services available at the airports being used.

Another Annex 6 Amendment established comprehensive provisions aligned with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284), ensuring helicopter operations with dangerous goods receive the same oversight as other aircraft. The same Amendment also established new guidance on alternate safe landing considerations for off-shore helicopter operations.

Further Amendments adopted by the Council, to Annexes 7 – Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks and 8 – Airworthiness of Aircraft of the Convention, concerned the development of a standardized certificate of de-registration to aid States in clearly communicating the transfer of an aircraft from one State to another (Annex 7), and assuring that mandatory continuing airworthiness information relating to aircraft modification or repair will be distributed (Annex 8).

Additional new provisions in Annex 8 concerned the now required availability of cargo compartment fire suppression system details to help improve cargo safety risk mitigation efforts.

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