Regional Office Achievements
All ICAO Regional Offices (ROs) reported that the number of States with Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs) have either been reduced or remained the same. Notably, the Asia and Pacific Office (APAC), reported that SSCs were resolved in two States within the Region. All seven ROs also reported an increase in either the average number of their States’ Effective Implementation (EI) of the critical element of a State safety oversight system; or the number of States within their regions having a score of above 60 per cent. The North American, Central American and Caribbean Office (NACC) reported that the number of States with an EI above 80 per cent had doubled during the year. Most ROs reported that the progress in the implementation of State Safety Programmes (SSPs) continued to be slow. Most ROs also reported that they were assisting States in developing SSP implementation projects and/or completing their SSP gap analysis.
The Middle East Office (MID), in coordination with the Arab Civil Aviation Organization (ACAO) held the first meeting of the Middle East and North Africa Regional Safety Oversight Organization (MENA-RSOO) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Fifteen States signed a revised Letter of Intent that will lead to the establishment of the MENA-RSOO which will be the first RSOO spanning across more than one ICAO Region.
Air navigation capacity and efficiency
All ICAO ROs reported that there were improvements in air navigation capacity and efficiency through the introduction of new routes and services. Many of the Regions introduced new performance-based navigation (PBN) routes and there was an increased use of inter-regional coordination to improve traffic flows across ICAO Regions. It was notable that the European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) States agreed to 47 new routes. The EUR/NAT Office also assisted Turkey in the opening of the new Istanbul Airport. The South America Office (SAM) also reported that it successfully supported the implementation of reduced longitudinal separation (from 80 NM to 40 NM) throughout the continent. In addition, the Eastern and Southern Africa Office (ESAF) assisted Somalia in transitioning its Flight Information Service from Nairobi to Mogadishu and assisted South Sudan in establishing the new Juba Flight Information Region (FIR). Most ROs reported that they increased their support activities for aerodrome certification and/or saw an increase in the number of international aerodrome certifications within their regions.
During 2018, several of the ICAO Regions faced both natural and man-made (i.e. conflicts and political tensions) crises that impacted international civil aviation operations. ICAO’s role in coordinating States’ contingency plans within a region and across regions had consistently proven to facilitate the continuity and regularity of international civil aviation during crises. Drills to proactively prepare for a potential crisis continue to be held with the APAC and EUR/NAT Offices by coordinating volcanic ash exercises with the participation of operational units in Member States.
Security and facilitation
The Regional Offices continued to support Security and Facilitation initiatives within their Regions. The ROs convened conferences, workshops and seminars to support the implementation of the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) through the development of Regional Implementation Plans and Roadmaps. Notably, the Middle East (MID) Region established a Regional Aviation Security and Facilitation Group (MID-RASFG); an interregional forum was established to align the Africa/Middle East and European initiatives to implement the GASeP; and States within the NAM/CAR and SAM Regions agreed to the GASeP Panama Declaration in which the States committed to work together to achieve the five key priority outcomes of the GASeP. It was also notable that the MID Office conducted the first assistance mission to Iraq that resulted in the development of a security improvement plan for the State.
Economic development of air transport
Major momentum to increase global public and private sector attention on air transport development priorities, particularly in the Americas, was achieved at the 4th annual ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Fortaleza, Brazil, culminating in the adoption of the Declaration to Promote Connectivity through the Development of Sustainability of Air Transport in the Pan-America Region – Vision 2020 – 2035. The ESAF and Western and Central Africa (WACAF) Offices also continued their support to States toward the establishment of the Single African Air Transport Market.
While support to this Strategic Objective represents a new competency in several of the ICAO Regions, work has progressed to support its achievement. All ICAO ROs reported that Action Plans on CO2 emissions reduction had been developed by States within their Region. ROs conducted Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) implementation workshops. All ICAO ROs reported that the number of focal points for the development of National Action Plans for CO2 emissions reduction had increased.
Most Regional Offices reported that their direct in-country assistance increased from 2017 to 2018. Much of this assistance has been provided under the auspices of the No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative. Notably within NACC, all States agreed to implement a fifth phase of activities under the NCLB initiative. It was also noteworthy that there was an increase in synergies among ROs as greater cooperation on implementation support lead to more efficient utilization of resources across ROs. Examples of such cross-regional cooperation include the ESAF Office’s assistance in establishing the MID-RASFG; in conducting of an inter-regional workshop on civil-military coordination for the MID and APAC Regions and an inter-regional workshop to foster implementation of Annexes 9 and 17; and in developing regional road maps within the Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI), EUR/NAT and MID Regions.