UN aviation agency adopts new ‘unified strategy’ to boost air safety worldwide

UN aviation agency adopts new ‘unified strategy’ to boost air safety worldwide

In an effort to improve the safety of air travel worldwide, the United Nations aviation agency has drawn up a new “unified strategy” to boost the transparency of its audits and the sharing of full information.

“The unified strategy creates mechanisms for the integration of efforts to increase transparency and disclosure of safety-related information, to analyze available safety-related data from multiple sources and to establish partnerships to resolve safety-related deficiencies,” said the President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, Assad Kotaite.

“I am confident that the unified strategy will make an important contribution toward further improving aviation safety around the world,” he told the Global Summit on Regional Aviation Safety Oversight, hosted by the George Washington University Consortium in Washington, DC, earlier this week.

The new guidelines follow a resolution adopted last autumn at the 35th Session of the ICAO Assembly to resolve safety-related deficiencies by directing the Organization’s 188 Contracting States to share critical safety information which may have an impact on the safety of international air navigation.

Full reports from the Organization’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) will now be made available to all Contracting States, rather than summary reports as is currently the case. USOAP assesses a State’s level of implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

Because of their inherent economies of scale and focus on harmonization, Mr. Kotaite said regional or sub-regional safety oversight organizations should be developed or strengthened to help countries that lack the required human, technical and financial resources to adequately perform their national safety oversight operations.

“It is critical that ICAO, national civil aviation authorities, industry and funding institutions coordinate and cooperate in the provision of aviation technical assistance and guidance,” he added. “I encourage all stakeholders to forge better relationships with their counterparts in order to support countries and regional organizations in their various endeavours to comply with international standards.”