ICAO: the innovator or the laggard?


ICAO 2007
As a follow up of our seminar last year about the future of ICAO, Airneth will organize a follow-up seminar on this theme. The focus of the seminar in October 2007 was on the decision making process within ICAO in coping with the regionalization tendencies in the world versus the principle of the Contracting States as the decision making units. Airneth brought together different stakeholders, such as Contracting States, regional organizations, NGO’s and the industry and initiated a discussion to identify the possible steps that could solve the general effectiveness and the role of regional organizations in the decision making process within ICAO. Several proposals were tabled to tackle the internal problems in the ICAO organization. The outcome of this seminar can be read on the Airneth website.
ICAO 2008
On TUESDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2008, Airneth will organize a follow-up seminar on the future mission and tasks of ICAO, this time focussing on four policy areas. The seminar will identify the most important policy issues that pose a challenge for the future role of ICAO and its performance. This seminar will be an open stage for actions that can be taken by ICAO or other stakeholders to redesign the future role of ICAO. 

We have selected four developments that are of interest to analyse. These four policy fields concern the major global developments that have a significant impact on international aviation, and originate from the mission and objectives of ICAO. 

These objectives are:
- the enhancement of global civil aviation safety 
- the enhancement of global civil aviation security
- minimization of the adverse effect of global civil aviation on the environment
- the enhancement of the efficient use of airspace for aviation operations
Next to the ICAO regulations on these four objectives, extra rules on safety, security, climate change and efficient use of aviation operations have been drawn up by different individual states or blocks of states. They are in assumption that the ICAO regulations are not adequate enough to achieve these goals in the (near) future. This process clearly illustrates that the traditional division of tasks is changing, resulting in institutional alteration and the construction of new division of tasks.Thus the main question of the seminar will be: What are the main challenges for the future of ICAO in a changing world of global aviation?

The development of new legislation to enhance global civil aviation safety is one of the objectives and core activity of ICAO. Regional organizations are increasingly playing an important role in the development of legislation to enhance aviation safety and sign bilateral treaties on safety regulations. EU member states which transfer competences to EASA is a very clear example of recent developments.

Questions that arise are:
- How does ICAO cope with these developments and with new supranational rulemaking organizations like EASA? 
- Should ICAO aim primarily for harmonization, auditing and implementation audit follow ups? 

Security has become one of the most important (political) issues in aviation, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This policy issue poses a challenge for the decision making process and governance structure of ICAO, mainly because security is not considered in the Chicago Convention. A number of influential aviation nations and organizations (like the US and EU) have drawn up their own rules and regulations concerning aviation security on airports and airplanes. These regulations can lead to conflicting legislation disrupting the smooth functioning of the aviation system, but are seen as necessary steps to increase the security and safety on a flight. ICAO cooperates closely with other (UN) Agencies in the global effort to combat crime and terrorism, in matters regarding standards, regulations and guidance materials. But the regulations put forward by some Contracting States pose a threat for the harmonized and univocally ICAO Standards and Recommendations. 

Discussion points could be:
- How does ICAO cope with these developments and make use of legislation of the regions to harmonize local rules?
- How far does ICAO have to go to be successful by setting the rules for security?

Climate change
Climate change has been characterized as one of the greatest challenges of this century. The effect of international aviation on the global environment and its effect on climate change has been a concern for ICAO for nearly 30 years, in spite of the fact that environment was not addressed in the Chicago Convention. To pursue its environmental goal for climate change, ICAO continues to develop and refine SARPs and guidance material for technological improvements, proper organization of air traffic, the use of market-based options and continues to coordinate with other UN bodies such as the UNFCCC. It has been agreed in the Kyoto Protocol that ICAO would develop a global blanced approach for the reduction of aviation emissions. To develop such a program, ICAO has established a group of regional senior government officials, known as the “Group on International Aviation and Climate Change” (GIACC). The mandate of GIACC is broad and requests that its members reach consensus on considering all options available to address aviation’s contribution to climate change.
Questions that arise with these developments are:
- Is ICAO able to develop a global balanced approach to the reduction of aviation emissions?
- Is UNFCCC not more qualified to develop such an approach, as it also does for other economic areas? 

The last policy field is Air Traffic Management that apart from coping with an ever more congested airspace, also contributes to the reduction of emissions and enhances safety by developing a more efficient ATM system. EUROCONTROL concluded in a study on the comparative responsibility for airspace reform in Europe, that 63 percent of route extension (the extra distance flown compared to an absolutely optimized route) was attributable to network design within states, nine percent to interfaces between states within regional airspace, and 28 percent to interfaces within regional airspace. Regional developments such the US NextGen and European SESAR project are integral developments for ATM improvements. 

Discussion points concerning ATM are:
- How does ICAO cope with these developments and which role can it play in a field, which is dominated by regional technological developments?
- How can the Contracting States, and indirectly ICAO, change the political arena in a manner that ANSPs and airlines can cope with these developments? 

The following names have accepted our invitation to speak at our seminar:

- Harry Mayer, Dutch Ministry of Justice, Director of Civil Aviation Security
- Jan Willem Weehuijzen, Dutch ministry of Transport, will chair this event
- Bert Kraan, former Dutch delegate to ICAO
- Aniel Bangoer, Dutch Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning
- Adriaan Schout, Clingendael Institute
- Pieter Mulder, Dutch Ministry of Transport

Preferred outcomes
Like the ICAO seminar in 2007, we aim to trigger a discussion amongst stakeholders who cope with similar questions, to gain more insight in the existing challenges of ICAO and offer possible solutions for these challenges. The outcome of the seminar will be summarized in an Airneth Report and will be published on the Airneth website and communicated through the Airneth newsletter.

Target audience
This seminar is being held for (inter-)national policymakers, airlines, airports, ANSP’s and their branch organisations.

We will send out invitations in September 2008 (by personal invitation only). The number of participants is limited to 40. The language spoken during the seminar is Dutch.

Programma_ICAO_seminar.pdf23 K
Category: past activities