Progress on ICAO's Strategic Objectives — Safety — Safety Priorities

Safety Priorities


Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP)


ICAO published the 2020-2022 edition of the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP). This document houses ICAO’s Safety Strategy and presents goals and targets for States and Industry to enhance safety towards ultimately achieve zero fatalities in civil aviation. It was approved by the Council in June 2019, and subsequently endorsed by the 40th Session of the Assembly.


Global Runway Safety Action Plan (GRSAP)


Runway safety remains aviation’s biggest safety challenge, representing about half of accidents reported to ICAO. ICAO and the Runway Safety Programme (RSP) partners continue to collaborate on initiatives to reduce runway safety-related accidents and incidents worldwide as outlined in the Global Runway Safety Action Plan (GRSAP).


The Global Reporting Format for runway surface conditions is an important runway safety-related initiative. ICAO continues to support States and stakeholders with their preparations for the 5 November 2020 applicability date. In March 2019 a global symposium was hosted in Montréal, with 350 delegates from 48 Member States and seven international organizations attending. This has been followed up by a series of focused regional seminars, with eight hosted during 2019. In parallel, training courses for airport, airline and ATC staff are being developed through ICAO’s TRAINAIR Plus programme, in cooperation with Airports Council International (ACI), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) respectively. The course for airport operations staff is ready and courses are in development for flight crew and airline operations staff, and ATC.


Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS)


ICAO continues to work on provisions to make the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) concept of operations a reality. The focus has been on the implementation of the Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft, Part I — International Commercial Air TransportAeroplanes provisions on location of an aircraft in distress, which have a future equipage requirement of 1 January 2021. Several table top exercises were conducted to validate the recommendation from the GADSS advisory group to establish a means to collect information from autonomous distress tracking (ADT) systems and make the information available to all appropriate organizations (e.g. air traffic service units, rescue coordination centres, and others as determined by the State of the Operator) in a timely and efficient manner. Development of the Location of an Aircraft in Distress Repository (LADR) has been planned. The LADR will provide access for those organizations to that information, without putting an additional burden on the operator, and while meeting the requirements of Annex 6, Part I.


The LADR will serve as a single point of access for the position information of an aircraft in distress, which was reaffirmed as a requirement by search and rescue (SAR) representatives participating in workshops and in other ICAO discussions. It is expected that multiple compliant systems will be developed to meet the location of an aircraft in distress provisions; however, a single central source for all position data will be needed to meet the expectations of the SAR community.


Duplicated waypoints


Duplicated waypoints (five-letter name codes – 5LNCs) represent potential safety risks for global air navigation. A significant number of duplicate or homophonous (similar pronunciation but different spelling) waypoints exist across all ICAO regions. Following recommendations of the Thirteenth Air Navigation Conference, systems and procedures were put in place and 83 duplicated waypoints worldwide have been resolved. Although progress is being made, there remain a significant number of duplicated waypoints that need to be addressed.


The ICAO International Codes and Routes Designators (ICARD) system allows Member States the reservation and allocation of waypoints. Training was organized in various ICAO Regions on the use of ICARD and there has been a steady increase in the number of States who have registered users on the ICARD system. Populating the database is work in progress. It currently contains an estimated 60 per cent of all worldwide waypoints.


Cargo safety, including lithium batteries


Provisions for operators to conduct safety risk assessments on the carriage of items in cargo compartments were reviewed by States and international organizations. Supporting guidance on safe operations involving aeroplane cargo compartments was developed for incorporation in a new manual.


An SAE committee (established at the request of ICAO) continued work on a performance-based package standard to provide a safe method for transporting lithium batteries by air. Progress has been slow due the diverse needs of the various stakeholders involved.


ICAO continued to monitor the development of an improved multi-modal hazard communication system for lithium batteries by the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. ICAO requested the development of an improved system so that the varying hazards posed by different battery types can be communicated and the risks to air transport appropriately mitigated.


A new multidisciplinary group, the Safe Carriage of Goods Specific Working Group of the Flight Operations Panel (SCG-SWG FLTOPSP), was established to enable efficient coordination among the various areas of expertise necessary to address the broad challenges and threats associated with transporting goods by air. The group will resume the work of two temporary multidisciplinary cargo safety groups (the Multidisciplinary Cargo Safety Group (CSG) established by Council and the Cargo Safety Sub-Group of the FLTOPSP (CSSG)).


Electronic personnel licenses


The Electronic Personnel Licence Task Force is developing provisions in Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing to enable the optional use of electronic licences, with the understanding that determining their validity should not place undue burden on States. Work is underway on a prototype for offline licence verification.

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