ICAO: Frequently Asked Questions

If my State is being negligent in its responsibilities under the Chicago Convention, can ICAO reprimand or penalize it in some manner?


As a United Nations agency, ICAO’s first and most important mission is to help national governments (in our case those governments which are Signatories to the Chicago Convention) cooperate towards agreed international aims. Our role is not to penalize and blame countries when they may demonstrate shortcomings in the carrying out of an international responsibility, but rather to coordinate or provide assistance and capacity-building to help them do so more effectively in the future.


This being understood, there are various tools under the Chicago Convention through which States may be requested or urged to comply with international Standards adopted through ICAO. Often, a decision or recommendation from the relevant bodies of ICAO (e.g. our Triennial Assembly or Governing Council) may be required before the use of these tools can be contemplated.


In terms of reporting mechanisms, by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Safety Oversight Audits with ICAO, signatory States to the Chicago Convention accept that we will publish aggregated USOAP audit results, in addition to ‘red flags’ on those significant safety concerns which may be identified during an audit and which are subsequently not addressed within a set period of time. ICAO’s Aviation Security audit results cannot be made public, due to the restricted nature of related provisions.


Furthermore, the ICAO Council approved in 2005, under Article 54 j) of the Chicago Convention, the Procedure for transparency and disclosure regarding significant compliance shortcomings with respect to safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) by which failure by a State to comply with related determinations or recommendations of the ICAO Council can be made public.


Article 54 k) also stipulates that infractions of the Convention by a Member State shall be reported by the Council to ICAO’s Triennial Assembly, when no appropriate action is taken by a State after reasonable time following notice of an infraction.


A framework for sanctions, in the form of suspension of voting powers in the Assembly and in the Council, is provided for under Chapter XVIII of the Chicago Convention, which deals with the settlement of disputes between States relating to the interpretation or application of the Convention or Annexes.

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