ICAO states meet to adopt global navigation plan

The world’s aviation community will gather today for the start of the 38th Assembly of UN agency ICAO and will be asked to adopt a global air navigation plan that will lay down a roadmap for the eventual modernisation of the world’s ATM system.

Airspace suffers from a lack of capacity and efficiency, due to fragmentation. There are different ATM systems in world regions and within regions. This situation makes it more technically complex, and costly, for airlines to operate and move from one airspace to the other.

Global or regional modern and standardised ATM systems would bring several benefits in terms of capacity, safety, fuel efficiency, and economics.

By making aircraft fly more direct routes there would be a decrease in costs and lower fuel consumption. Common standards would allow for global competition between various systems and manufacturers, and lower costs. Furthermore, aircraft would operate with the minimum of performance change from one airspace to another.

The European Commission which will be attending said the Assembly should adopt the global air navigation plan (GANP), and related aviation system block upgrades (ASBU) which has developed a programme to acheive interoperability to avoid a patchwork of differing systems.

“Europe has with SESAR, in the same way as the US with NextGen, an advanced programme of ATM modernisation. However, to reach an efficient global interoperability ICAO standards are required at the right time,” said the EC. “An ICAO standardisation roadmap has been announced in the GANP, but not produced so far. ICAO would need to continue its work on the development of the numerous standards which will become necessary.”

In terms of safety, the Assembly will be focusing on a number of key issues and Europe said it would  be looking for concrete results for further action to be pursued at ICAO level. In particular, Europe wants ICAO to take a position which goes further in recognising and promoting the advantages of a ‘regional’ approach to safety.

“In other regions of the world a good cooperation between states can provide a viable option to effectively help them to fulfil their safety obligations. Europe is looking to ICAO to reinforce its recognition of the benefits that a regional approach to safety brings – allowing for greater efficiencies, sharing of expertise and raising standards across the board – and for ICAO to promote this approach in other regions of the world where appropriate,” said the Commission.

Europe said it would also be looking to ICAO for further progress as regards civil aviation oversight and management at a global level, notably through the adoption of a proactive stance in promoting a greater use of risk management as a general principle in safety procedures so as to provide a much better targeting of resources and more efficient outcomes.

The Assembly is expected to adopt a resolution that reiterates and reinforces the benefits of regional cooperation, and to ensure that this gets reflected in ICAO’s rulemaking activities, notably as regards the further development of its (newest) Annex 19 on safety management, as well as its safety monitoring activities in the context of its universal safety oversight audit programme (USOAP).

In terms of the harnessing the climate impact of international aviation, the European Commission said it wanted the 38th Assembly to establish – in addition to a range of operational and technical measures – an agreement on the development of a global market-based measure which could be in place by 2020.

“The design of this global scheme, which is also strongly supported by the global aviation industry, should be completed by the time of the next ICAO Assembly, which takes place in 2016,” it said.

Europe has submitted two working papers and four safety working papers, drafted by the European Commission, ECAC (the European Civil Aviation Conference) and EUROCONTROL in consultation with EASA, EUROCAE and the SESAR Joint Undertaking, and agreed by all member States.

The first ATM working paper recommends endorsing the GANP and proposes how it could be further strengthened in its next iteration while the second sets out how the ICAO Work Programme could be better prioritised.

In addition, a joint European Information Paper presents the past, ongoing and planned interoperability demonstrations being part of the SESAR Joint Undertaking work programme.

The safety working papers include topics such as the European regional perspective on safety management and the difficulties encountered during major investigations.

Details of the Assembly, together with the documentation, can be found on the ICAO website.

Read More: ICAO states agree on draft global plan

Posted in CAAs/ANSPs, Navigation, News

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