ICAO Members Agree To
Historic Aviation And Climate Change Policy
October 10, 2010 - The 37th Session of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which concluded on Friday, achieved important advancements in aviation safety and aviation security assuring even greater safety performance in the already safest and most secure mode of mass transport in the world.
Reaffirming its leadership role, the meeting adopted a comprehensive resolution to reduce the impact of aviation emissions on climate change. The agreement provides a roadmap for action through 2050 for the 190 Member States of the Organization.
Solidifying its global influence, the Organization signed numerous international agreements, including cooperation agreements with regional civil aviation organizations and bodies from all regions of the world.
The resolution on the environment makes ICAO the first United Nations Agency to lead a sector in the establishment of a globally harmonized agreement for addressing its CO2 emissions. The resolution was adopted with some States expressing reservations and calling upon the ICAO Council to continue its work on specific aspects of the agreement.
accomplishment comes only two months before negotiations are again
undertaken by these very same States at the 16th Conference of the
Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) meeting scheduled for December in
"We feel that the Assembly resolution and related decisions are good examples of the spirit of cooperation that can make a substantial contribution to the UNFCCC discussions," said the President of the ICAO Council, Roberto Kobeh González.
This historic agreement builds on achievements since the last ICAO Assembly in 2007, which included a global goal of 2 per cent annual fuel efficiency improvement up to the year 2050, a global framework for the development and deployment of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation, and a target of 2013 for a CO2 standard for aircraft engines.
Additional new initiatives include the development of a framework for market-based measures (MBMs), a feasibility study on the creation of a global MBM scheme and guiding principles for States to use when designing and implementing market-based measures for international aviation, all of which will be reviewed at the next Assembly in 2013.
Other features of
the agreement include mechanisms for technology transfer to developing
States; a requirement for States to submit to ICAO their action plans
for reaching goals set by the Organization; assistance for States to
meet their respective objectives; and exemptions from market-based
measures for States with very low emissions due to their small traffic
"This agreement demonstrates what can be achieved when parties with divergent and even conflicting views are determined to progress towards results that are in the best interest of an industry as critical to the world economy as aviation," Mr. Kobeh commented.
reality that the majority of accidents and serious incidents resulting
in fatalities occur during the take-off and landing phases of flights,
the Assembly endorsed ICAO's plan to establish a multi-disciplinary
approach to address the critical issue of runway safety. This will bring
together representatives from airlines, airports, air navigation service
providers and regulatory authorities. In May 2012, the Organization will
host a Global Runway Safety Symposium in Montréal, followed by a number
of regional workshops to identify and further resolve runway safety
The Assembly also
endorsed a proactive safety strategy based on the sharing of critical
safety information among governments and industry stakeholders. Greater
availability of information in a transparent process improves the
ability to better analyze and predict safety risks and to take action
before issues result in accidents. Acting proactively on risk indicators
can help to significantly reduce the accidents in all regions of the
In a demonstration
of support for the strategy, ICAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding
during the Assembly with the United States Department of Transportation,
the European Union, and the International Air Transport Association for
the creation of a Global Safety Information Exchange. ICAO will
coordinate the collection, analysis and exchange of aviation safety
information among Exchange Members and disseminate to the global
The Assembly also
endorsed ICAO's plan intended to guide the estimated 50 billion dollar
investment that States will make in their aviation infrastructure over
the next 10 years. Through the Global Air Navigation Plan, ICAO acts as
global integrator, facilitating harmonization of a variety of large
scale regional programmes. Initial plans will be introduced to States at
a Global Air Navigation Forum in September of 2011 and finalized in
November of 2012 during the 12th Air Navigation Conference.
An ICAO diplomatic
conference held in
The Assembly built
on this achievement by recognizing the need to strengthen aviation
security worldwide. In a Declaration, unanimously adopted by
participants, international commitment was reaffirmed to enhance
aviation security collaboratively and proactively through screening
technologies to detect prohibited articles, strengthening international
standards, improving security information-sharing and providing
capacity-building assistance to States in need.
The Assembly put
its full support behind a comprehensive, new ICAO aviation security
strategy. It highlights key priorities, such as identifying and
preventing new forms of attack before they occur, streamlining security
checks so that they remain effective but are not duplicated
unnecessarily, and improving the capabilities of States to oversee
On the eve of the
Assembly, ICAO concluded Memoranda of Cooperation with two regional
organizations – the African Union and the European Union – and four
regional civil aviation bodies – the Arab Civil Aviation Commission, the
African Civil Aviation Commission, the European Civil Aviation
Conference and the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission. The
objective is to help reduce aircraft accident rates, improve security in
flight and at airports, and promote the overall sustainable development
of the air transport industry.
In the course of
the meeting, 49 States enhanced their relationship with ICAO by working
through the Technical Cooperation Bureau for expanding existing
agreements, negotiating new agreements and identifying agreements for
further development. The ICAO Assembly was attended by a record 1588
participants from 176
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