International Day commemorating air crash victims and their families

Sunday 20 February marks the inaugural International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and Their Families.


In 1998, during the 32nd Session of the Assembly (A32), the subject of assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families was considered, acknowledging that the policy of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) should be to ensure that the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of victims involved in civil aviation accidents and their families are considered and accommodated by ICAO and its Member States. Following discussions, Resolution A32-7 urged the Council to develop guidance material citing the need for the establishment of regulations and programmes by Contracting States and their air operators to support aircraft accident victims and their families.

ICAO first issued guidance on family assistance in 2001, and in 2013 it published the ICAO Policy on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and their Families and an accompanying manual. The topic was also formally acknowledged by countries at consecutive ICAO Assemblies, in 2013 and 2016, and considered by a special session of the 13th ICAO Air Navigation Conference in 2018.

Last year the ICAO Council held a further meeting on the subject with the Air Crash Victims' Families' Federation International (ACVFFI), and the ICAO Facilitation Panel has recommended that associated priorities be enshrined in a full ICAO Standard, in order to assure stronger international compliance and alignment.

In addition to the Symposium ICAO conducted last December, the organization is also currently developing a training course to help countries set out appropriate family assistance legislation, regulations, and plans.

ICAO is attuned to the needs of families and victims of aircraft accidents, and stands ready to continue working with States, the aviation community and family associations towards the progress of this subject of utmost importance.

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