ICAO Regional Office programmes and projects are undertaken in close coordination with HQ Bureaus and are managed to ensure delivery of related outcomes. An inaugural Coordination Meeting of the Global Planning and Implementation Regional Groups (PIRGs) and Regional Aviation Safety Groups (RASGs) was held in March 2013 with the participation of President of the Council of ICAO, the Secretary General, Chairpersons of all PIRGs and RASGs, Regional Directors, and the Director of the Air Navigation Bureau.
The meeting agreed that PIRGs and RASGs align their work programmes to the revised Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP), and establish regional safety and air navigation priorities, indicators, metrics and targets. There was also agreement to measure and monitor implementation performance and to report progress and results in the annual Global Aviation Safety and Global Air Navigation Reports, and to use online regional dashboards to be launched in 2014. It was agreed that future PIRG/RASG Coordination Meetings be held every two years, the next one planned for February 2015 in conjunction with the High-level Safety Conference.
In line with the Organization’s enhanced strategy of regional cooperation, the Regional Offices are also working more closely with one another and with regional aviation organizations and regional offices of other aviation bodies, to avoid duplication of effort and to share best practices. In particular, the Regional Offices are leading the implementation of the action plans associated with the Memoranda of Cooperation signed with the regional civil aviation bodies (see A38-WP/9).
Summary of 2013 Activities
The focus of the work of the Regional Offices varies due to disparities in the state of air transport in the different regions and the extent of the roles played by other regional State or industry organizations, be it specifically in the field of aviation or in other related fields of economy or security. The following common elements can nevertheless be highlighted with respect to the aggregated achievements seen by each over 2013:
a) Safety-related issues remain the top priority and assistance to States remains the main role of the Regional Offices, specifically in the provision of support to States and regional organizations in advancing improved compliance with SARPs.
b) The air navigation field and its associated modernization plan in the GANP/ASBU concept is starting to gain in importance and appears to be a major endeavour for the near future.
c) Aviation security and facilitation activities are focused mainly on training and assistance and continue to grow.
d) Activities of the Regional Offices related to economic development of air transport and environmental protection are only a small part of overall work programmes due to the lack of specialist resources.
e) Regional Offices were closely implicated in the preparation of the major conferences in the field of air navigation, security and air transport, and contributed to supporting the 38th Session of the Assembly. With this active participation, Regional Offices are more fully aware and involved in the work programme of the Organization as a whole.
f) Within the constraints of the Organization’s overall budget, the operations of Regional Offices are considered to be satisfactorily supported by adequate staffing resources.