ICAO: Frequently Asked Questions

How does ICAO develop Standards and Procedures for International Civil Aviation?


The development of international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and Procedures for Air Navigation Services (PANS) follows a structured, transparent and multi-staged process – often known as the ICAO ‘amendment process’ or ‘standards-making process’.


This involves a number of technical and non-technical review bodies, which are either within or closely associated with ICAO (working groups, task forces, committees, panels, etc.), and which are generally composed of State and industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).


New items are added to the ICAO Work Programme after formal reviews by ICAO’s Secretariat, Air Navigation Commission (ANC: the main technical advisory body to the ICAO Council) and the 36-State ICAO Governing Council.


Specific matters to be assessed are derived from multiple sources, including accident investigation report recommendations, ICAO Assemblies, regional bodies, individual States, and industry.


Once an expert group has submitted its recommendations on a specific work programme item, these are reviewed by the ANC and then transmitted to States and industry for review. The ANC considers all relevant feedback and fine-tunes its final recommendation for the ICAO Council’s ultimate consideration and possible adoption. Final ANC recommendations would also include full impact assessments and implementation plans.

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