Europe and North Atlantic Archives - Uniting Aviation https://unitingaviation.com NEWS AND FEATURES BY ICAO Wed, 16 Feb 2022 05:22:53 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.1 https://unitingaviation.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-UA-Favicon-1-32x32.png Europe and North Atlantic Archives - Uniting Aviation https://unitingaviation.com 32 32 Bridging aviation and the health sectors in the EUR NAT region during the pandemic https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/providing-support-to-states-in-the-eur-nat-region-during-the-pandemic/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 05:15:50 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=19380

CAPSCA: Managing a pandemic The current COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be far more than a health crisis; it has caused immense economic and social distress throughout the globe. While aviation is one of the most heavily affected sectors, global supply chains, essential flights, emergency and humanitarian responses and the swift vaccine distribution rely predominantly […]

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CAPSCA: Managing a pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be far more than a health crisis; it has caused immense economic and social distress throughout the globe. While aviation is one of the most heavily affected sectors, global supply chains, essential flights, emergency and humanitarian responses and the swift vaccine distribution rely predominantly on air transport.

The Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) is an ICAO global Program established in 2006 with the unique mission to bridge the Aviation and the Public Health sectors for the preparedness planning, capacity building and response/crisis management during various public health events that affect the aviation sector.

Preparedness and management crisis of Public Health Events of International Concern (PHEIC) proved to be as important as Safety and Security for the sustainability of the global Air Transport sector. Coordination and harmonization of Public Health measures is instrumental. For that purpose ICAO CAPSCA works closely with World Health Organization, several UN Organizations, Public Health Authorities, Civil Aviation Authorities, and Industry.

The CAPSCA EUR programme has currently 44 Members States. Within the EUR/NAT regions the CAPSCA EUR established an extensive network of both CAA and PH experts from 44 States and Regional Organizations. In 2021, the CAPSCA EUR programme delivered the following:

  • Provided to this network official information, studies and updates on all COVID 19 issues
  • Organized webinars for the implementation of ICAO CART recommendations, TOGD, Public Health Corridor guidance etc.
  • Coordinated with EASA and Interstate Aviation Committee to harmonize the implementation of Public Health Measures in the Region
  • Organized and participate regularly in coordination meetings with other regional Organizations
  • Supported the launch of a PHC iPack for Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, in partnership with IAC

The CAPSCA EUR Programme organized a joint interregional CAPSCA EUR/MID 09 meeting in December 2021 addressing 71 States with the participation of several key stakeholders from World Health Organization (WHO), Eur/EMRO, Airport Council International, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), Robert Koch Institute, ICCAIA, etc.

Sustainable funding of CAAs-COVID 19 impact- The EUR/NAT survey

The EUR/NAT Regional Office initiated, long before the COVID-19 crisis, a dialogue with its 56 States of accreditation on the sustainable funding of Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) to enable them to perform and continue their oversight functions.

With the current COVID-19 crisis, the need to address this issue has been further amplified. The first report of the ICAO’s Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) included several recommendations, including Recommendation 10 that invited States to consider appropriate measures to support financial viability and to maintain an adequate level of safe, secure and efficient operations for ICAO Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the EUR/NAT Regional Office in close cooperation with ICAO HQ developed a dedicated survey to understand and analyze the funding structures and available resources for the Civil Aviation Authorities within the EUR/NAT Regions, taking into consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses to the survey were compiled in a report that was presented to the joint 8th meeting of the two ICAO financial panels: the Airport Economic Panel (AEP) and the Air Navigation Services Economic Panel (ANSEP).

The results of the survey and of the joint panel meetings will be presented to the EUR/NAT States in 2022 along with a number of suggested actions.


 

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Aviation security and traveller facilitation updates in the EUR NAT region https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/aviation-security-and-traveller-facilitation-updates-in-the-eur-nat-region/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 04:33:14 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=19353

The ICAO Year of Security Culture The ICAO Secretary General launched 2021 as the ICAO Year of Security Culture (YOSC) on 18 December 2020 during the Global Aviation Security Symposium to follow up on the request of the 40th ICAO Assembly for ICAO to develop further tools to enhance security awareness and security culture. At […]

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The ICAO Year of Security Culture

The ICAO Secretary General launched 2021 as the ICAO Year of Security Culture (YOSC) on 18 December 2020 during the Global Aviation Security Symposium to follow up on the request of the 40th ICAO Assembly for ICAO to develop further tools to enhance security awareness and security culture.

At the regional level, ICAO’s EUR/NAT Office created a YOSC Regional Webpage where articles, guidance material, links to the Global ICAO YOSC webpage and other Security Culture tools can be found, including an article contributed by the chairpersons of the European and North Atlantic Aviation Security Group (ENAVSECG). The EUR/NAT Office conducted a region-wide virtual Security Culture Seminar for its 56 States, International and Regional Organizations as well as Industry from 30 June to 1 July 2021.

Approximately, 200 experts participated and contributed information on the ways to implement a robust and sustainable Security Culture. The recording and presentations are available on the ICAO regional website: Regional Security Culture Seminar.


Aviation Security Training and capacity building

Nine ICAO-sponsored training courses (classroom and virtual), including the newly developed Security Culture Workshop were conducted throughout 2021 in English, French and Russian languages by the regional ICAO Aviation Security Training Centres (ASTC). Two cost-recovery training courses were conducted upon request from Luxembourg to train the State’s National Aviation Security Experts. ICAO AVSEC Implementation Packages (iPacks) were deployed in two EUR/NAT States.


Regional Aviation Security meetings

The ninth meeting of the European and North Atlantic Aviation Security Group (ENAVSECG/09) took place virtually in December 2021 with the participation of 111 experts from States, international and regional organizations, and ICAO ASTCs. The meeting deliberated on the ways to counter new and emerging threats by application of innovative techniques and technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Behavior Detection, and One-Stop Security screening; discussed Cybersecurity issues, coordination of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations, the role of positive Security Culture and capacity building.

The third meeting of the ECHO initiative, the subgroup to ENAVSECG tasked to serve as an inclusive, impartial and collaborative region-wide mechanism for aligning capacity-building efforts was held in October 2021. The meeting discussed the progress made in mapping capacity building activities and collecting information on States’ AVSEC prevailing and COVID-19 recovery needs, brainstormed on the best way to link available capacity building activities with identified needs, and generated proposals for further actions.


Facilitation

The EUR/NAT Office, in cooperation with ICAO Headquarters, held a Facilitation Seminar in April 2021. More than 200 experts from States, International and Regional Organizations as well as industry participants, took part in the event. The seminar covered various security-related facilitation areas such as electronic machine-readable travel documents (MRTDs), ICAO Public Key Directory and its Master List, as well as Passenger Data Exchange Systems – Advance Passenger Information (API)/Passenger Name Record (PNR) and Single Window concept for transferring data. Specific focus was given to visible digital seal (VDS) and its application for COVID-19 testing and vaccination certificates. Seminar material is available on ICAO regional website: Regional Facilitation Seminar. ICAO Facilitation Implementation Packages (iPacks) were deployed in two EUR/NAT States.

The EUR/NAT planning for 2022 includes the tenth ENAVSECG meeting (October/November), fourth and fifth ECHO initiative meetings (April and December), the Regional ICAO ASTC Directors meeting (September), 10 ICAO sponsored training courses at ICAO ASTCs (ASTC Schedule). Furthermore, requested tailor made cost-recovery training courses for several countries are planned as well as the re-evaluation of 6 ICAO ASTCs to confirm compliance with ICAO requirements.

The EUR/NAT Office is looking forward to the possibility of conducting its annual on-site Aviation Security Seminar for the States in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Balkans in Latvia (May), which was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due the pandemic.

An ICAO Universal Aviation Security Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) Seminar is scheduled to be conducted in coordination with ICAO Headquarters at the end of May/ beginning of June 2022.

Finally, a Regional Traveler Identification Programme (TRIP) seminar is planned to be conducted in coordination with ICAO Headquarters (more information on this event will be available on the ICAO website).


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Aviation safety highlights from the EUR NAT region https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/aviation-safety-highlights-from-the-eur-nat-region/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 03:34:24 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=19347

The ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office continued to address COVID-19 induced safety risks in 2021. It started with a dedicated seminar on vaccine transportation covering multiple topics to include safety-related aspects pertaining to dangerous goods. It continued with enabling a smooth transition from COVID-19 related differences (CCRD) to Targeted Exemptions (TE) system and gradual removal of TEs […]

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The ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office continued to address COVID-19 induced safety risks in 2021. It started with a dedicated seminar on vaccine transportation covering multiple topics to include safety-related aspects pertaining to dangerous goods. It continued with enabling a smooth transition from COVID-19 related differences (CCRD) to Targeted Exemptions (TE) system and gradual removal of TEs to ensure the return to normal operations.

Another milestone was the pilot implementation of the Aviation Safety Risk Management related to COVID-19 iPACK for the CAA in Georgia which laid the basis to cope with COVID-19 national safety risks and enabling the improvement of national State Safety Risk Management tools, in general, as an integral part of State Safety Programme. The application of project management principles embraced in iPACK are seen as a good practice for State Safety Programme implementation or improvement in the States.

The ICAO EUR 2020 Annual Safety Report (EUR ASR 2020) was published in 2021 and provided an overview of the safety performance of the EUR Region towards the GASP goals and targets which underscored a continuous decreasing trend of accident rate, strengthening EUR States’ safety oversight capabilities as well as implementing the air navigation and airport core infrastructure as our joint achievements.

 At the same time, there is still room for improvement on the implementation of State Safety Programme (SSP) as well as the use of industry programmes.

The Regional Expert Safety Group (RESG) was established as a main safety branch of the European Aviation System Planning Group (EASPG) and produced the revised 2022-2024 version of the European Regional Aviation Safety Plan. Mechanism for future updates, monitoring and reporting on EUR RASP implementation will be among our main tasks in 2022.

Simultaneously, RESG continued its work on safety enhancement initiatives in the areas of pilot training and runway safety.

Competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) projects for Russia and Kazakhstan are successfully progressing. The combined experience with EASA, is a very good way forward to build on for further improvement in other States.

Runway Safety-related risks (both traditional and COVID-19 introduced) were closely monitored and addressed during RESG meetings and through dedicated global and regional webinars. Given the COVID-19 restrictions our office participated in the development of remotely conducted ICAO Runway Safety Go-teams, that will be tested in 2022.

The evolution of the ICAO USOAP programme was another headline for 2021. Introduction of the new version of protocol questions, evolution of SSP Implementation assessment, implementation of virtual validation activities was supported by the ICAO EUR/NAT staff. Two meetings and workshops were organized for European National Continuous Monitoring Coordinators in cooperation with ICAO Headquarters and EASA. ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Officers participated in several USOAP CMA virtual activities (ICVM for Iceland and Kazakhstan) as well as supported an on-site restart of USOAP programme.

The joint ICAO-Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) regional project continued its successful operation throughout 2021 with the full support of ICAO EUR/NAT Office. In particular, an Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (AIG) workshop in April 2021 should be mentioned. All the activities were conducted in virtual mode, with the hope for a return to a hybrid or normal working environment in 2022.

Overall, 2021 was another example of how cooperation played a key role in driving safety improvements through the current crisis. We would like to thank all our Member States, regional and international partners: EASA, EUROCONTROL, IAC, IATA, IFALPA, ACI EUROPE, CANSO EUROPE, Airbus, Boeing and others who helped to make this a reality. Corresponding safety oversight improvements and removal of Republic of Moldova from EU Air Safety List in 2021 is one of many positive outcomes of such cooperation.

We have completed the development of the NAT Vision 2030 which provides a pathway to prioritize and deliver a proportionate series of improvements, to enhance operational flexibility, resilience through the development of contingency procedures and improvements in communication performance. All of these has been achieved within the context of a developing cyber threat and enabled the optimal use of emerging technologies and techniques, as well as new entrants such as unmanned flight, supersonic or suborbital operations.

In 2022, the ICAO EUR/NAT office will continue its cooperation with States, Regional and International Organizations in order to minimize safety risks induced by the pandemic. In particular work on Targeted Exemptions for them to be used only in exceptional cases, with due risk mitigations and thereafter removed as soon as the situation is back to normal.

ICAO will continue focusing on the facilitation of EUR RASP implementation within States through the National Aviation Safety Plans. Specific workshops and targeted assistance are planned for States in 2022 coupled with monitoring mechanisms to be launched in cooperation with EASA and EUROCONTROL.

In the traditional safety areas, Runway Safety and Pilot training will continue as a priority. Several safety seminars and conferences are already planned for 2022. Other safety topics will be reviewed for focused implementation prioritization.

Finally, support to the USOAP CMA programme development, in particular the deployment of State Safety Programme Implementation Assessments (SSPIAs), will be another priority for 2022.


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Updates on aviation capacity and efficiencies in the EUR NAT region https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/updates-on-capacity-and-efficiencies-in-the-eur-nat-region/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 01:01:55 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=19351

The Global Reporting Format  The ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office placed emphasis on the implementation of the new Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway surface conditions. GRF is the new ICAO methodology for assessing and reporting runway surface conditions, which enables the harmonized assessment and reporting of runway surface conditions and a correspondingly improved flight crew assessment […]

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The Global Reporting Format 

The ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office placed emphasis on the implementation of the new Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway surface conditions. GRF is the new ICAO methodology for assessing and reporting runway surface conditions, which enables the harmonized assessment and reporting of runway surface conditions and a correspondingly improved flight crew assessment of take-off and landing performance.

This implementation is expected to reduce the risk of runway excursions.

To support this implementation, the ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office conducted three virtual events in 2021. The first event, the Webinar on Implementation of the New GRF for Runway Surface Conditions in the EUR Region, was held in English, French and Russian languages in May 2021. This event was attended by 504 participants, 35 States, 8 international organizations and 1 industry.

The Webinar addressed questions raised on GRF implementation resulting in a summary of GRF clarification and mitigation of concerns by subject (e.g. runway condition report, SNOWTAM, airline operations, etc.).

Two more events were conducted for Kyrgyzstan in July 2021 and the Interstate Aviation Committee in November 2021 that reviewed various information on the ICAO GRF website to assist in GRF implementation. Topics included the history of GRF, updated ICAO provisions, training courses available, GRF implementation checklist, ATIS, means of disseminating runway condition report, global implementation map and a question and answer session. Interpretation was provided in English and Russian languages.

As of 13 January 2022, 93% of reporting States in the ICAO EUR/NAT Regions have implemented GRF and follow-up events may be needed as non-implementation in this regard is a safety issue. Follow-up events in 2022 will be determined based on States’ needs and/or analysis of non-compliant SNOWTAM format with the new SNOWTAM format associated with GRF. Furthermore, feedback on implementation issues is expected to be considered at a global event in Q4 of 2022 in order to begin the process of fine tuning GRF provisions.


ASBU Report

The 7th edition of ICAO/EUROCONTROL ASBU monitoring report was endorsed during the Third Meeting of the European Aviation System Planning Group (EASPG/3) in December 2021.

The EASPG highlighted the importance of this report as a key document in order to monitor and analyse the ASBU Block 0 and 1 implementation within the EUR Region. It includes the updated progress/status of implementation of ASBU Block 0 and 1 elements (reference period 2020) from fifty-three (53) out of the fifty-five (55) States within the ICAO EUR Region and relevant parts will also be integrated into the ICAO EUR eANP Vol III.

The report had been developed following the transition to the 6th edition of the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) and includes now information on seventy (70) out of eighty-seven (87) ASBU elements which had been proposed for monitoring within the ICAO EUR Region

The EUR ASBU Implementation Monitoring report can be downloaded from the ICAO European and North Atlantic Office and EUROCONTROL websites.


VOLCEX 21

We continue the regular regional volcanic ash exercises with the main objective to improve the response to volcanic eruptions and volcanic ash contamination by the relevant national supervisory authorities, service providers and airspace users in accordance to the Volcanic Ash Contingency Plan for the EUR and NAT Regions.

The most recent exercice conducted in November 2021 simulated a continuous eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland that produced a simulated volcanic ash cloud that impacted the North Atlantic, parts of Europe as far east as the Russian Federation and as far south as the Mediterranean Sea. The exercise allowed to validate the progress we made since the previous eruption of this volcano in 2010.

A debrief meeting in follow up to the exercise will take place in February 2022 in order to develop lessons learned and recommendations that can be considered in formulating objectives and the date(s) of the next exercise as well as the associated preparatory workshop if necessary.

It should be noted that volcanic ash exercises and regional contingency plan are important elements of the regional crisis management and preparedness system that also includes tackling with other airspace contingencies through crisis coordination cells and EACCC, nuclear events in coordination with IAEA, and public health events as part of the CAPSCA network.


EUR OPS Bulletin 2021_001

As a result of the work from a dedicated Project Team, the Third Meeting of the European Aviation System Planning Group (EASPG/3) in December 2021 approved the publication of a new EUR OPS Bulletin 2021_001 on Loss of Communication Procedures.

The new OPS Bulletin was developed as regional guidance material in order to raise awareness on loss of communication procedures amongst flight crews, air traffic controllers and military personnel. The OPS Bulletin also highlights the importance to minimize the number and impact of such events and emphasizes on the timely actions that are required for the recovery of communication.

The EUR OPS Bulletin 2021_001 was published on the ICAO European and North Atlantic Office website and can be downloaded.


METG/31

The Thirty-First Meeting of the Meteorology Group (METG/31) of the European Region Aviation System Planning Group (EASPG) was held  in September 2021. The Meeting was attended by a total of 173 registered participants from 49 States, and 5 International Organizations.

Near full implementation of the ICAO Meteorological Information Exchange Model (IWXXM) has been achieved in the ICAO EUR Region in part due to the current translation services provided by the Regional OPMET Centres at no cost. This service may be extended for one more year due to the impacts of the pandemic on the Air Navigation Service Providers. Nevertheless, the implementation efforts have now shifted to assist States to implement IWXXM on their own and preferable at source. In addition, inter-regional exchange of OPMET data in IWXXM format will also become a priority during the next year.

The near full implementation of Regional OPMET Centre Moscow for 7 States in the Eastern part of the EUR Region has also been achieved this past year.

The METG will continue to focus on the implementation of IWXXM as well as update MET guidance material and where possible harmonize this guidance material with other regions. A high implementation level of ASBU threads and elements will assist MET Service Providers in being better prepared for the implementation of future provisions related to Amendment 81 to Annex 3 in 2023.

To achieve these goals, the following related meetings in 2022 are planned: DMG/35 from 15 to 17 March 2022; DMG/36 from 21 to 23 June 2022; and METG/32 from 20 to 23 September 2022.

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Aviation’s impact on the environment: Updates from the EUR NAT region https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/aviations-impact-on-the-environment-updates-from-the-eur-nat-region/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 00:50:18 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=19357

In 2021, the ICAO EUR/NAT Office organized several events to support States for the development and update of the State Action Plans as well as for the implementation of CORSIA requirements and the related environment tools. We further strengthened cooperation with regional organizations to facilitate capacity-building activities and avoid duplication. Several events were organized in […]

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In 2021, the ICAO EUR/NAT Office organized several events to support States for the development and update of the State Action Plans as well as for the implementation of CORSIA requirements and the related environment tools. We further strengthened cooperation with regional organizations to facilitate capacity-building activities and avoid duplication.

Several events were organized in coordination with ACAO for the North African EUR States and MID Region on Action Plan and implementation of CORSIA requirements. Two joint events were held with ECAC on State Action Plans and CORSIA to support European States. Furthermore, the ICAO EUR/NAT Office participated at several capacity building webinars organized by other organizations.

As of today, 48 EUR/NAT States have already developed and submitted their State Action Plan to ICAO at least once; 28 States have updated their SAP in 2021 and submitted them using the APER website and 1 State has submitted its first State Action Plan.


CORSIA

We continued to work directly with States to support the CORSIA requirements implementation as there were several milestones to complete in 2021. This included informing ICAO on the voluntary participation to CORSIA prior to 30 June 2021; the submission of the CO2 emissions data for the year 2020 to ICAO through the Central CORSIA Registry (CCR) by 31 August 2021 as well as the submission of the list of aircraft operators and verification bodies by 30 November 2021. Support to States was provided by organizing video calls with groups of States as well as providing technical assistance directy to the States’ Focal Points.

Under the ICAO ACT-CORSIA programme, buddy partnerships among States have been established across the Regions involving 4 donor States from the EUR/NAT Regions and 14 recipient States. During the ACT CORSIA phase 3, which started in April 2020 through 2021 focusing on the implementation of reporting and verification requirements, the EUR/NAT Office organized and supported several ACT CORSIA seminars and follow up coordination calls to train States from Central and Eastern Europe with the support of Germany and for the North African EUR States with the support of France.

As of today, 50 States have provided their 2020 CO2 emissions data to ICAO using the CORSIA Central Registry and 48 States have provided their list of Aeroplane Operators for 2021.

The environment will remain high on the priority list of 2022 with global events such as the High-level meeting on the Long Term Aspirational Goal, or the 41st Assembly. A number of regional events, such as the ICAO EUR/NAT Environment Task Force, ACT CORSIA webinars and environment workshops on CORSIA eligible fuels and emissions units are planned.

We will continue to strengthen our capacity-building activities to further support the States and provide individual and tailored assistance.

The State Action Plan is a means for the ICAO Member States to establish a long-term strategy on climate change for the international aviation sector, involving all interested parties at a national level. In conjunction with the current ICAO Stocktaking process, the States Focal Points are encouraged to include innovative mitigation measures showcasing the new activities undertaken in the States. States that did not update their State Action Plan in the current triennium or need support to develop their State Action Plan are invited to contact the Regional Office if support is needed.

With regard to CORSIA, our focus in 2022 is to provide training for Focal Points on CORSIA MRV implementation, in particular, the submission of 2021 CO2 Emissions Reports as well as provide information on CORSIA eligible fuels (CEF).

In 2022, in accordance with ICAO Annex 16 volume 4, States will have to continue monitoring, verifying, and reporting the CO2 emissions generated by the international flights to ICAO. However, the timeline is slightly modified compared to that of the previous years. In 2022, States are required to provide 2021 CO2 emissions on States pairs (same as for 2019/2020), with new reporting requirements including the provision of total 2021 emissions for each airplane operator; and the provision of two aggregated figures (one for State pairs subject to offsetting requirements, and a second one for State pairs not subject to offsetting requirements). In addition, States with airplane operators that use CEF and wish to claim associated emissions reductions, have to submit additional information on the CEF claimed.

CORSIA – Upcoming deadlines for 2022 as set by Appendix 1 of Annex 16 vol. IV


 

 

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ANC Talks with NAV Portugal https://unitingaviation.com/regions/anc-talks-with-nav-portugal/ Fri, 29 Oct 2021 17:30:11 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=18473

NAV Portugal is the Portuguese air navigation service provider for the Portuguese flight information regions (FIRs), Lisbon and Santa Maria. They plan, guide and control air traffic according to international and national regulations while applying the highest safety standards, optimising capacities, and enhancing efficiency, always considering environmental concerns. NAV Portugal has air traffic control centres […]

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NAV Portugal is the Portuguese air navigation service provider for the Portuguese flight information regions (FIRs), Lisbon and Santa Maria. They plan, guide and control air traffic according to international and national regulations while applying the highest safety standards, optimising capacities, and enhancing efficiency, always considering environmental concerns. NAV Portugal has air traffic control centres in Lisbon and Santa Maria. Their ground-air communications stations, radar stations and radio-aids support navigation provide aerodrome and approach control services in ten ATC airport towers. The two Portuguese FIRs cover a vast area, including the airspace above the Portuguese mainland, the islands of Madeira and Azores, along with a vast area in the North Atlantic Ocean, descending to the latitude of the Cape Verde archipelago.


Santa Maria Oceanic

The Santa Maria FIR represented by ICAO is a concessional control area and almost entirely a non-radar area. All standard procedures are required for the functioning of the Oceanic FIR, since it guarantees safety throughout the Portuguese airspace. LPPO is one of the biggest FIRs globally as it provides control to the nine airfields of the archipelago of Azores and commands some of the North Atlantic Tracks (NATs). It offers a vast capacity to control hundreds of flights per day. 

This is an immigration service provider in the North Atlantic, a state-owned company that enjoys U.S. initiative and financial independence. It has its equity, whilst being subject to the guidance and supervision of the Minister of finance and Minister of the dashboard and communications—supervised by the National Agency of Civil Aviation (ANAC) that overlooks the company. To fulfil its duty and provide public service, Portugal works both on the Portuguese mainland and in the autonomous regions of George and Madeira. It ensures compliance with the relevant international relations, guarantees better safety standards and improves the efficiency of service providers while wagering environmental sustainability into account. There is also particular attention paid to the modernisation and reform of the ATM system. 

The 1990s brought about a clear message to accommodate a safe and efficient, not the predictable increase in traffic demand that at that time, and respond to the users’ needs the environment and other issues, necessary to invest in a new ATM system for the sudden Oceania fire. Currently, it tries to meet the global demands for a suitable ADM System while maintaining its focus on safety.

Today, at the time of weatherisation and militarisation, the Oceanic ATM systems are tariffed extensively. The industry is the choice partner. It evolves around traffic control officers and technicians to define operational requirements and technical specifications for the subtle ADM system, adapted to the various levels of the graphic image. Providing a topical office with more and increasingly efficient tools for traffic management mean oceanic areas. Presently the system is working, and it can accumulate the expected increase of traffic in the future. It ensures timely compliance with the mandates for the IPO, not region and assures the safe and effective management of the traffic.


Santa Maria

Santa Maria is an island in the middle of the ocean. In 1937, PAN AM signed an agreement with Portugal for exclusive access to the Azores airports. The aircraft at the time did not have the range necessary for overflights without the technical stops for refuelling and have a very strategic zero position allowing them to refuel in December.

 With the commence of the Second World War, there was an increasing interest for the U.S. Air Force to build an airbase at Santa Maria and about the same time. In 1944 Portugal allowed the U.S. to build an airbase in Santa Maria. Then, in 1946, a summary report stated that for International Civil Aviation with the same purpose, to allow aircraft crossing the Atlantic to stop for refuelling or other technical stops assigned in the Chicago convention. In 1946, Santa Maria airport is became certified for international civil aviation. The Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) chose Santa Maria to set the oceanic ACC, andin 1947, Portugal granted access for the U.S. to use Lajos Field airbase. Thus, Santa Maria became a civilian airport with an Oceanic Area Control Centre (OACC).


Surveillance Safety Net

If a flight’s surveillance contact is lost, CPAR will use procedural separation minima for that single flight. Specifically, the CPAR will use procedural separation minima for all flights and a Single rating, Surveillance/Oceanic.

The safety nets are the same systems for maritime and surveillance sectors with integrated conflict forecasts. If flight surveillance, contact with the last CFR will use procedural separation for that single flight. This means the previous feature does not exist, and the satellite can peep, calculating the estimated position of flights while providing imaging. If the surveillance system is CFR, it will use procedural separation minima for all flights. The concept of the last feature does not exist due to satellite keeping electronically calculated the estimated position of FLEX. It already prepares for a GSB space-based NTSB with only one rating or endorsement surveillance oceanic. All controls in Santa Maria have a CSM CMT CAR, which means surveillance controllers of the maritime and turning.


A great effort was made in improving the ATM system overview. The requirements were done at Santa Maria and then developed by other companies. Another service provided is a Free Router, already in use for several years. It is a user-preferred route. There is also an ECON or no fixed speed. The aircraft can fly in coast index as they wish while the crews climb or block the altitudes, and the work is typically in a tactical environment. It means that traffic in conflict can be approved, provided it allows a solution. This permits flights to fly under optimal flight levels for extended periods, not to be analysed once entering oceanic airspace. 

A flight can change its speed on the point of the small point one MAC number, above or below what they are clear, without having to tell a traffic control. This helps the pilots to manage the cost index. Reducing costs on flights and finally, something seen in September called the cruise client, but actually, pilots do the cruise client, which is about 100 feet climb every 10 minutes. However, usually, they ask as a block, so either one or the other are prepared. To issue such clearances if there is no traffic to effect, simply just issues again as easy as three clicks a CPS message saying maintain blog flight level to flicker.

The ANC Talks interview NAV Portugal is available for on-demand viewing here.

 

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Keeping our borders safe https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/keeping-our-borders-safe/ Wed, 08 Sep 2021 19:57:43 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=17758

The pandemic has had an impact on every area of aviation.  Throughout the response, the importance of Annex 9 Facilitation and ICAO’s Facilitation Programmes has been underlined, given that they address the varied, but interrelated, interests of Member States, aircraft and airport operators, and customers in a coordinated manner, while working towards achieving more efficient […]

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The pandemic has had an impact on every area of aviation.  Throughout the response, the importance of Annex 9 Facilitation and ICAO’s Facilitation Programmes has been underlined, given that they address the varied, but interrelated, interests of Member States, aircraft and airport operators, and customers in a coordinated manner, while working towards achieving more efficient and orderly air transportation. Facilitation contends with external challenges that include threats to security, illegal migration, travel document fraud, narcotics trafficking, and the spread of contagious disease.

States of the ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Regions expressed the need to organize a regional FAL implementation seminar to inform and update States about the latest developments of Annex 9 and current key issues while offering an exchange of best practices between States, global and regional organizations, and the industry.

Cornelia Ludorf
Cornelia Ludorf, Regional Officer of Aviation Security and Facilitation at ICAO EUR/NAT

In close cooperation with ICAO Headquarters, the EUR/NAT Office conducted the seminar from 20 to 23 April as a virtual event. It was held in English and Russian languages to offer easy participation to all States in the region. A total of 200 participants from 33 States and 7 international and regional organizations, as well as industry, attended. The seminar discussed a wide range of key issues related to Annex 9, including amendments 27 and 28, and upcoming events such as the 12th Meeting of the Facilitation Panel and the High-Level COVID-19 Conference with one stream focused on safety and the second stream on Facilitation and its role in supporting the management of the pandemic and lessons learned.

Emphasis was also given to developments in the area of electronic machine-readable travel documents, visible digital seal (VDS) and its application for testing and vaccination certificates during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ICAO Public Key Directory and Master List and their importance for border control. Finally, two days were dedicated to Chapter 9 of Annex 9, Passenger Data Exchange Systems, namely Advance Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR) and the importance of a Single Window concept with a highlight on the implementation requirements for States. The seminar material is available on the ICAO EUR/NAT official webpage.

This edition of the EUR/NAT Newsletter will also spotlight API, PNR and the single window concept. The following articles will familiarize you with the concept and requirements (ICAO) and share experience and lessons learned from the perspective of States which have already implemented API and/or PNR and work with a single-window concept (the Netherlands and the United Kingdom). IATA will provide information regarding the role of air carriers when it comes to API /PNR data transfer and show how important close cooperation between States and industry is to enable the success of API/PNR implementation. Finally, the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programme (UN CTTP) explains their support available for States that need help in implementing API and PNR.


Recent Amendments to ICAO Annex 9

Recent amendments to Annex 9 have included multiple revisions to the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to Advance Passenger Information (API) Passenger Name Record (PNR) data systems:

Cristopher Hornek
Cristopher Hornek is a consultant for the ICAO Facilitation Section.

Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to Advance Passenger Information (API) Passenger Name Record (PNR) data systems.

These revisions included:

  • creating a new and separate Annex 9 chapter entitled Passenger Data Exchange Systems, including various interrelated sections pertaining to different aspects of passenger data;
  • establishing an API system as a requirement and strengthening adherence to the API Guidelines;
  • developing a robust set of SARPs for PNR implementation;
  • incorporating the Passenger Data Single Window (PDSW) facility;
  • encouraging States to implement interactive API (iAPI);
  • defining how Electronic Travel Systems (ETS) can be used in conjunction with iAPI; and
  • including a standard on API data quality related to multiple travel documents.

Passenger Data Single Window

The Passenger Data Single Window (PDSW) is a facility that allows parties involved in passenger transport by air to lodge standardized passenger information (i.e., API, iAPI and/or PNR) through a single data entry point to fulfill all regulatory requirements relating to the entry and/or exit of passengers that may be imposed by various agencies of the Contracting State. The implementation of a Single Window facility allows States to process data more efficiently, both in terms of maximizing facilitation benefits and securing border integrity.

The Single Window standard 9.1 requires States to establish only one entry point for the respective API/iAPI and PNR messages. This would mean, for example, that API/iAPI messages could be sent to one single window facility managed by one agency, while PNR data could be sent to a separately managed single window facility.

However, some States have chosen to process both API/iAPI and PNR messages in one Single Window facility, to capitalize on facilitation and border integrity benefits derived from processing all passenger data sets in one facility. This fulfills the PDSW standard, as well as the accompanying Recommended Practice 9.1.1.

Advance Passenger Information (API) systems

A large portion of the impetus for changes to API provisions resulting in Amendment 26 to Annex 9 was due to UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2178 (2014).
This resulted in the two new Annex 9 Standards in relation to API systems, namely:

  • Standard 9.7 which requires each State to establish an API system. This standard relates to the implementation of a batch API; and
  • Standard 9.8 which requires that every API system be supported by appropriate legal authority and be consistent with internationally recognized standards for API.

Amendment 26 also added a new Recommended Practice encouraging States to consider introducing interactive API systems.

In the ICAO EUR/NAT region API systems have been implemented by 30 States, with one of those States also having implemented interactive API.

Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

A PNR in the air transport industry is the generic name given to records created by aircraft operators or their authorized agents for each journey booked by or on behalf of any passenger. Over the years, the number of States requesting aircraft operators to transfer PNR data to them for law enforcement and border security purposes to fight terrorism and serious crime has risen considerably. In 2017 the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2396 which, inter alia, urged ICAO to work with its Member States to establish a standard for the collection, use, processing, and protection of PNR data.

As a result, the ICAO Council adopted Amendment 28 to Annex 9 which includes 11 Standards and six Recommended Practices related to PNR data legal and administrative frameworks, adherence to technical specifications, law enforcement use, and most critically, data protection and privacy measures. Standard 9.24 sets the baseline commitment for States to develop the capability to collect use, process and protect PNR data.

The last three PNR standards in Chapter 9 of Annex 9 – Facilitation address mean to resolve the conflicts of laws surrounding PNR data transfer. As outlined in Standard 9.24, the suite of PNR standards are meant to be implemented as a package, in the sense that a State’s legal and administrative framework shall be consistent with all of the PNR standards in ICAO Annex 9. This concept supports the idea that the PNR Standards have also been designed to function as a global PNR framework to which all States shall align themselves.

In the ICAO EUR/NAT region, PNR data programmes have been implemented by 29 States.


Advance Passenger Information (API) in the Netherlands: Experiences from a State’s Perspective

In order to improve border controls and prevent illegal immigration airline companies are obliged to provide the authorities responsible for border control with certain personal details from all incoming passengers and cabin crew arriving from outside the Schengen and European Union area. In the Netherlands, the body responsible for guarding national borders is the Royal Netherlands Marechausee, henceforth referred to as KMar. The Netherlands implements and adheres amongst others to the requirement in the European Directive on the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data (Directive 2004/82/EG).

Emine Kaya
Emine Kaya is API Policy Lead of Migration Policy at the Ministry of Justice and Security of the Netherlands.

The requirement concerning personal information has been transposed into the Dutch Vreemdelingenwet 2000 (Alien act). KMar receives personal details from an individual’s travel document, and these details are supplemented by information concerning the flight and the booking process. These details are known as Advance Passenger Information (API). In this context, ‘advance’ refers to the moment at which these details must be provided, namely, at the end of the boarding process.

Based on the API data, the KMar can evaluate the individuals on board a flight by checking whether any of the individuals appear in any of the various international and national detection databases, or on watchlists or match with a profile based on their personal and flight details.

This evaluation of individuals based on API data is carried out by the API Center, a component of the Targeting Center Borders. In situations where the API Center establishes that a hit has indeed been identified, it then sends instructions to the operational organization that an intervention must take place.

KMar can take action in a timely fashion due to the API data and the analysis of those data. KMar employees who are involved with border controls on a daily basis emphasize the worth and utility of API. The use of API contributes to more effective border control:

  • First of all, there is more time to compare passenger data based on databases and risk indicators as the data are available from the moment when the airplane departs. Furthermore, there is more time and opportunity to consult in the case of a so-called “hit”.
  • Secondly, the API centre can report irregularities and risks that are not examined at a border post. The API centre can, for instance, see if a passenger travels using an irregular route, or whether a passenger is accompanied by surprising or unusual travellers. These sorts of irregularities may be an indication of a heightened risk of illegal immigration, and can constitute a reason for asking the passenger pointed questions when they arrive in the Netherlands.
  • Thirdly, the API data provide added value as the control procedures at the borders are improved and made quicker as passenger details are available for examination beforehand. The controls and the entry points can be used only for the identification of passengers and the validity of their travel documents. This improves the flow of travellers and prevents long lines and waiting at the entry points, and this is an important added value for airlines and passengers. Without API, the KMar would have to compare the details of all passengers to detection databases and lists at and after the arrival of passengers in the Netherlands.

See below the table where API figures are given:

To conclude, the use of API data, as part of a broader package of European and international measures, is to strengthen the borders. These measures arise in large part due to the pointed
increase in the number of passengers entering Europe from third countries, and this trend is expected to be continued. The combination of having more passengers, as well as higher safety requirements, has triggered the search for possibilities as to checking and processing large flows of passengers, without having to make concessions regarding safety requirements and in respecting the rights of the passengers.


Processing of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) Data: Implementation in the United Kingdom
Tom Dyson
Tom Dyson is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Home Office.

Processing passenger data by the UK began in 2005 with API, PNR data from 2013 and interactive API from 2015. Ordinarily, the UK would now be processing iAPI and PNR data for more than 230M passengers annually, carried by more than 150 airlines operating more than 5,600 routes.

Passenger and crew data are received from carriers through a Data Single Window and provided once – but made available to competent authorities through the UK’s multi-agency Passenger Information Unit, the National Border Targeting Centre which comprises officers from the Border Force, Counter-Terrorism Policing and the National Crime Agency.

Data is required in a standard format, consistent with the WCO/IATA PAXLST Implementation Guide (for API) and ICAO Doc 9944 (for PNR).
Imposing requirements on carriers for standard data elements in a standard message format is critically important to manage impact on the carriers and their system providers – especially as the number of countries requiring data grows in response to UN Security Council Resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2396 (2017).

Initially, the UK’s basic requirement for API was for information in advance of arrival in the UK. Threats to aviation security from onboard attacks led the UK to introduce a No Fly Scheme and to require API in advance of departure to the UK.

The effectiveness of any passenger data processing system depends on carriers’ compliance with requirements to transfer the right data at the right time. The UK continuously monitors the transfer of data from carriers to ensure expected data is received for processing and to establish in real-time whether a data transfer has been missed or a flight has been delayed or cancelled.

Simon Watkin (UK)
Simon Watkin MBE is a Senior Policy Manager at Home Office.

The UK has a dedicated Data Acquisition and Quality Team using sophisticated analytics to monitor data received and to investigate data issues with carriers. The Team monitors requirements for the data to be:

  • Timely – is data received when required from the carrier?
  • Complete – are all mandatory data fields completed?
  • Clean – is the data correctly formatted in conformance with the PAXLST and PNRGOV standards?
  • Accurate – does the travel document information in API match the data in each travellers’ document and is the service information correct?

API is required to be completed and to be accurate. By contrast, PNR data is a business record required to be disclosed – it is only as accurate as the carrier requires for its business.

To ensure compliance with API and PNR requirements, the UK operates a financial penalty regime – but this is reserved for repeated or willful non-compliance. The UK approach to carrier engagement has consistently been collaborative and constructive engagement to resolve data issues without recourse to financial penalties. Processing of passenger data is something the UK does with the aviation industry, not to the aviation industry.


Passenger Data Programs – Key Principles and the Role of Carriers
Nuria Fermoso IATA
Nuria Fermoso is the European Regional Manager of Passenger Experience and Facilitation for Europe at IATA.

The air transport industry is committed to jointly work with Governments to maintain the integrity of national borders while removing persisting inefficiencies in passenger checks, according to standard passenger data programmes (i.e., Advanced Passenger Information, API/interactive Advanced Passenger Information iAPI and/or Passenger Name Record, PNR). To this end, a set of key principles should guide authorities and other stakeholders in the development of passenger data programs: harmonization, efficiency, and cooperation.

Harmonization is vital on the legal and technical fronts. The existence of a proper legal framework considering possible data privacy elements is a must for carriers before positively responding to new programs.

Furthermore, the usage of standard data format and commonly used communication protocols is of the essence. Adherence to internationally agreed-upon standards facilitates swift and efficient implementation of border requirements, enhances interoperability, and leverages the automation of passenger-related processes.

Regarding efficiency, a cornerstone of this principle is the implementation of the Passenger Data Single Window, for a coherent and unified framework for data transfer. It allows airlines to submit standardized passenger data through a single data entry point within a state. Likewise, attention should be given to aspects such as the data elements to be required and the frequency of submission. Adhering to international guidelines while minimizing repetitive transmission is essential.

Lastly, the principle of collaboration between government agencies and transport stakeholders should be always pursued before adopting new legislation or rolling out a new programme. Engaging early with carriers, providing them with technical specifications and with flexibility according to the airlines’ varying business models & system capabilities, is paramount.


UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme
Simon Deignan
Simon Deignan is a Programme Management Officer at the UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme.

The Countering Terrorist Travel Programme, a flagship global initiative of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, assists beneficiary Member States in building their capabilities to detect and counter terrorists and serious criminals by using Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) to improve the use of international databases with known and suspected terrorists and criminals, such as with INTERPOL, and enhance international information exchange, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017), and 2482 (2019) and relevant privacy laws.

The Secretary-General officially launched the Programme on 7 May 2019. Since then, 39 Member States officially joined the Programme, with approximately 40 more Member States indicating strong interest to do so.

In an “All-of-UN” partnership with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology (UNOICT), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Programme comprehensively assists beneficiary Member States in legislative, operational, transport industry engagement, and technical areas. This includes the donation and deployment of the United Nations goTravel software system.

The Programme has been designed in accordance with human rights principles and United Nations policies in this regard, and is co-funded by generous contributions from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the European Union, the United States of America, the State of Qatar, Australia, Japan, and the Republic of India.

Steven Waterman
Steven Waterman is the API/PNR Technical Officer in ICAO’s Facilitation Section.

In tandem with awareness-raising activities, CT Travel focuses on arranging and conducting prerequisite assessments of confirmed beneficiary Member States. After determining a state’s existing level of implementation, the Programme produces a roadmap for the Member State that identifies steps for implementation across the areas of work:

  • First, legislative assistance to put in place a legal framework that regulates the collection, processing and protection of data.
  • Second, technical assistance to set up a Passenger Information Unit, including training and drafting standard operating procedures.
  • Third, facilitating air carrier engagement and connectivity, thanks to close cooperation with the transport industry.
  • And fourth, providing technical support to deploy, free of charge, the goTravel software to collect and process passenger data.

Emphasis is shifting to implementation of the four areas of work of the Programme based on the needs of each beneficiary Member State as outlined in the post-assessment roadmaps. A maritime component has been added to the Programme scope to address beneficiary Member States’ need to secure coastlines, formulating recommendations and proposing a framework for each area of work of the Programme and improving future collection and analysis of passenger and crew data.

Countering Terrorist Travel Programme graphicAdditionally, to this national implementation, the Programme offers the formation of regional Informal Working Groups (IWG). IWGs allow states in a region to meet regularly to discuss and address common challenges and interests. This good practice brings a cross-border vision and knowledge of threats while promoting the exchange of information as well as close operational and technical collaboration between PIUs in a region.

The Programme has established the Collaborative Online Platform (COP), a password-restricted forum for Programme partners, beneficiary Member States as well as the various experts involved with the Programme. The COP currently features a wide array of resources and includes a Pool of Experts. The Pool of Experts includes international experts from ministerial/policy, legal and national detection capabilities backgrounds, including those from national competent authorities, who will – on a pro bono basis – help train, mentor and advise beneficiary Member States receiving assistance within the framework of the Programme. In addition, these experts advise, share experiences and lessons learned, and help train the PIUs or competent authorities of the Programme’s beneficiary Member States.

The Programme has finalized an entry-level training course on establishing specific governance elements to ensure institutional commitment and support for PIUs, as well as the generic Terms of Reference for PIUs. This allows the delivery of personalized SOPs for each beneficiary Member State’s PIU.


ICAO EUR/NAT DGCA Meeting – May 2021

The EUR/NAT DGCA/2021-2 meeting was held on 19 May 2021 with the main objective of presenting and discussing the CART Phase III status of implementation in the EUR/NAT Region, provide information on the digitalization of the supply chain (a joint ICAO-UNECE project) and lifting of restriction on air cargo operations (CART Recommendation 16); update the participants on the vaccination and testing certificates as well as on the recent ICAO Global Dialogue on Long-Term Aspirational Goals (LTAGs), and to discuss the preparations for the High-level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC 2021) to be held on October 2021.

The meeting was chaired by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Portugal, Mr. Luis Ribeiro, who underlined the progress made in the EUR/NAT Region since the last DGCA meeting.

In her opening address, the ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, highlighted that the sustainability and prosperity of EUR/NAT States‘ economies will rely primarily on the commitment to work together to recover connections to the world, because no State can achieve this on its own. Dr. Liu also informed the meeting on the latest work in ICAO on visible document seals and on the preparation to the ICAO High Level Covid-19 Conference in October 2021.

Since this meeting was likely the last opportunity to address the EUR/NAT States as ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Liu also expressed her tremendous gratitude for the partnership and support of the EUR/NAT States throughout these past 6 years, and acknowledge, once again, the historic and ongoing contributions of the EUR/NAT States to international civil aviation.


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Kick-starting work on the sustainable funding of civil aviation authorities in the Europe/North Atlantic region https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/kickstarting-work-on-the-sustainable-funding-of-civil-aviation-authorities-in-the-europe-north-atlantic-region/ Sat, 01 May 2021 20:47:06 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=16983

The current crisis has prompted many governments to introduce unprecedented measures to contain the pandemic. These priority measures, which are imposed by a public health emergency, have left little room for other sectors – and this includes ensuring there is the appropriate funding for civil aviation. The Europe/North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Regions are no exception. We […]

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The current crisis has prompted many governments to introduce unprecedented measures to contain the pandemic. These priority measures, which are imposed by a public health emergency, have left little room for other sectors – and this includes ensuring there is the appropriate funding for civil aviation. The Europe/North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Regions are no exception. We have not only created awareness about this challenge but now have a specific mandate to deliver on it, as set by the Directors General of Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) from the Regions.

Captain Denis Guindon, Acting Regional Director of the European and North Atlantic Office

Our interest in the financial challenges faced by CAAs goes back to the DGCA meeting in 2019; but COVID-19 has amplified it. This is why the ICAO EUR/NAT Office held a Workshop on Sustainable Funding of States’ Civil Aviation Authorities on 29 September 2020. One hundred and thirty-six participants from 37 States, five European organizations (EC, EASA, EUROCONTROL, IAC, and ECAC), and seven international and industry organizations (IATA, CANSO, ACI Europe, IFATCA, IFAIMA, European Express Association, and AviaSafety) attended this virtual Workshop.

The discussions focused on the challenges that CAAs face for their safety, security and economic oversight functions during the COVID-19 crisis, with presentations made by several States on the best practices and lessons learned so far and on how a cooperative and collaborative approach with industry, regional and international organizations, including RSOOs during the crisis, can provide effective solutions along the way.

Following the Workshop, as included in our anticipated strategy for this topic in 2020, the DGCA Virtual Meeting was organized on 20 October. During this meeting, the eight conclusions produced at the Workshop, were discussed, approved and now form, collectively, a new area for our Office to work on. States understand that the EUR/NAT Regions need a series of new initiatives and activities to be established on the sustainable funding of CAAs in order to move forward and help solve some of the issues that require urgent actions.

Our Regional Office accepted the challenge to develop a survey, tools, financial framework assessments, model proposals, and newly identified best practices on Sustainable Funding for CAAs, to be further considered and deployed in order to fulfill this urgent mandate that we have been given. We are standing by the States and are committed to providing further assistance moving forward.

1. DGCA Virtual Meeting 20 October 2020: Outcomes & Action Plan
The first session of the agenda began with the EUR/NAT presentation on the outcomes and conclusions gathered during the Sustainable Funding for CAAs Workshop. During this session, States discussed and approved the conclusions of the Sustainable Funding for CAAs Workshop and provided the ICAO EUR/NAT Office with guidance on the actions to be delivered in 2021.

The table below contains the conclusions and actions that are to be taken. Some were completed at the end of 2020; the majority were to be achieved in 2021. Both the Workshop and DGCA Virtual meeting were an excellent start – the presentations, knowledge sharing and active engagement of States during the meeting provided fresh impetus for action on this important issue.

This article will present the work currently being carried out by Italy, Montenegro, Poland, United Kingdom, and the Ukraine. Their different profiles, phases, and approaches serve as an example of what the EUR/NAT Office expects to compile and share as best practices when more States begin to participate once the survey and tools are developed and deployed this year.

2. DGCA Meeting Conclusions and EUR/NAT Action Plan for 2020/2021

3. EUR/NAT Upcoming events

The following events/activities were planned in 2021:

  • Release of the dedicated Survey on Sustainable Financing of States’ Civil Aviation Authorities Oversight for the EUR/NAT Region (February 2021); and
  • Webinar: Sustainable Financing of CAAs (March 2021)

The cases and experiences shared by some of our Civil Aviation Authorities at the September Workshop were interesting and revealing of their trust and willingness to share best practices. Their presentations described the actions, figures, and solutions that they built over these last months when our sector was so drastically impacted are shared below. The input obtained from the Survey, planned to be launched in Q1 in 2021, will seek to gather similar profiles and level of information from all fifty-six (56) EUR/NAT States. The idea is to bring all this knowledge together in one document as a “Best Practices Manual on Sustainable Funding of CAAs Oversight Capacity in the EUR/NAT Regions”.


Italy | CAA Funding

Introduction
Ensuring sustainable funding of the activities related to the main oversight responsibilities of CAAs is an issue that an increasing number of States are facing. Regardless of the form of ownership of the civil aviation in each State, limited financial resources dedicated to these activities means, in some cases, a decrease of aviation safety and security levels or the inability for CAAs to address the needs of the air transport sector.

Mr. Alessio Quaranta, Director General of Civil Aviation, Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile (ENAC), Italy

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has made this problem even more acute. In this context, ICAO considers that cooperation, raising awareness, and sharing information on policies and best practices represents an opportunity to discuss a way forward and identify further actions to develop capacity within States. CAAs have various financing mechanisms, the Italian model represents a mixed and balanced approach that ensures adequate financial resources for the fulfillment of oversight responsibilities.

The Italian CAA is a public body under the supervision of the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, established by Law Decree n. 250 on July 1997. The CAA has regulatory, organizational, administrative, capital, accounting, and financial autonomy. Its main functions, as well as its organizational structure and its financing sources, are set in the above-mentioned Decree and in the statute. Furthermore, the Fees Regulation sets out fees from services provided by the Italian CAA to airport operators (e.g. project approval and testing of new airport infrastructures; licensing; certifications), maintenance and repair stations, air operators, air navigation service providers, etc. Financing resources are used to run the CAA administration and to fulfill tasks assigned, including oversight responsibilities.

Current Status

The main financing sources are represented by:

  • fees from airport management concessions (about 67% in 2019);
  • State funding for the execution of institutional tasks (about 16% in 2019);
  • fees from services provided to airport operators; maintenance and repair stations; air operators; air navigation service providers, etc. (about 14% in 2019);
  • route and terminal charges – share transferred by ENAV S.p.a. (about 2.5% in 2019);
  • certification and documentation fees to professional bodies – e.g. crew members; income from immovable property; interests on loans (about 1% in 2019).

Challenges with funding

Diversification of financing sources has so far ensured sustainability and effective functioning of the Italian CAA since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. However, revenue from airport management concessions fees for 2020 registered a reduction since the Italian CAA agreed with the Italian Ministry of Transport to allow airport management companies to defer the payment due in July 2020 to one single payment in January 2021. Thus, the annual concession fee is calculated using the actual 2020 traffic flow.

Next Steps

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic drop in air traffic leaving the CAAs that are financed exclusively by one source of funding (e.g. the tax paid by departing passengers) to tackle the issue of limited financial resources. One way forward is to recommend each State implement a CAA financing system based on the diversification of sources of funding. A CAA’s financing system should include financial resources allocated from the government, while maintaining the required independence of the CAA from the national government, as well as self-financing themselves.

Diversification of sources of funding enhances resilience to crisis or to market shocks and ensures sustainability and capability of the Authority in the long term.


Montenegro | CAA Funding

The funds for the conduct and development of Agency activities are provided partially from route and terminal charges; income from the issuance of licenses; certificates; confirmations; licenses; and annual fees; partially from the charges paid by all departing passengers in civil air traffic; and partially from the charges paid by air carriers per tonne of cargo carried in civil air traffic.

Mr. Dragan Djurovic, Director at the Civil Aviation Agency of Montenegro

The pandemic has had serious financial repercussions on the aviation industry. It is clear that in this moment we are witness to the drastic reduction in air transport that has caused significant losses for airlines. When there are no flights, the airports experience losses due to lack of income. They will have to terminate the employment contracts of their personnel, which will result in a decrease in their performance and efficiency, as well as in potential delays of flights. The airlines are facing the same problems; they are not able to pay route charges or terminal charges.

The functioning of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and National Supervisory Authorities (NSAs) is brought into question since these are their significant sources of income. At the same time, contributions that the countries pay to ICAO, EUROCONTROL, EASA and ECAC are also in question.

It is very challenging to make plans for the future in the current situation. I think that the European Commission could set up a special aid fund for the Aviation Industry, as one of the driving forces of the economy of the European Union. This fund could provide short-term and long-term financial support to the aviation industry in order to initiate the process of accelerated recovery and consolidation of the aviation industry in the short term after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

The beneficiaries of this fund would be primarily airlines and airport operators, while ANSPs and NSAs would also have the right to use finances from the fund. EASA, EUROCONTROL and ECAC would also have the right to use funding in order to overcome financial liquidity problems on a short-term basis.

In addition to the EU Member States, the right to use the finances from this fund would also apply to Non-EU countries that are signatories to the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) Agreement. Now is the time for solidarity!


Poland | CAA Funding

Sustainable financing of the National Aviation Administration is a key requirement for an effective aviation oversight system in each country. In the case of Poland, the CAA is part of the national administration system, responsible for aviation oversight in terms of safety, security, drafting legal acts, and negotiating international air transport agreements.

Mr. Piotr Samson | President of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Poland

The Polish CAA is managed by the President of the CAA who also serves as the Director General of Civil Aviation. Although the CAA is an independent body, it is supervised by the Ministry of Infrastructure and therefore its President reports directly to the Minister.

At present, the Polish CAA is financed by:

  • The State budget, which covers 70% of the CAA’s budget;
  • An ANSP fee constituting 17% of the CAA’s budget; and
  • Operators’ fees for issuing licenses and administrative decisions covering 13% of the CAA’s budget.

Such a financing structure, where the majority of the CAA’s budget is covered by the State budget, was insufficient during the dynamic growth of the aviation sector (2010-2019). It did not allow the CAA to recruit and keep the best professionals on the market who, having gained the necessary experience and knowledge, preferred working for private entities offering them much better financial conditions.

There was an indispensable need to develop a new mechanism in which the CAA, in addition to the State budget, would also be financed by fees per departing passenger which would cover the oversight expenses of the CAA. The fee would depend on the level of State financing and would be established at a level between 20 eurocents and 1 euro.

Unfortunately, the pandemic caused the suspension of the transformation actions. Nevertheless, the CAA plans to return to this project after the crisis as the present mechanism will again be insufficient when the market starts to grow in the future. Only fully diversified sources of financing (a mixture of the State budget, passenger and ANSP fees) can provide a truly sustainable financing of the CAA – both, during market prosperity and during a recession.


United Kingdom | CAA Funding

Introduction
The CAA is the UK’s independent aviation regulator and was established by Parliament in 1972. It is a multi-function regulator with several statutory duties – these are set out in primary legislation. The legal framework for how the CAA is funded is set out in the Civil Aviation Act of 1982. The main source of funding are charges that are levied on the Aviation Industry for various regulatory activities.

Dr. Rannia Leontaridi | Director General of Civil Aviation, United Kingdom

Section 8 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 states: ‘It shall be the duty of the CAA so to conduct its affairs as to secure that its revenue …is not less than sufficient to meet charges properly chargeable to revenue account’.

Section 11 sets out: ‘The CAA may… make a scheme for determining the charges which are to be paid to the CAA in respect of the performance of such of its functions as are specified in the scheme’.

In effect, these give the CAA the responsibility to ensure it has adequate funding to carry out its duties, and also the powers to raise funds.

Current status
In normal times, over two-thirds of the CAA’s income is variable, and is linked to industry activity, and/or passenger volumes. The Department for Transport (DfT) also provides some funding through grants (this is allowed under Section 12 and 16 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982) for work that DfT asks the CAA to carry out. In 2019, this accounted for 5% of the CAA’s income.

The COVID-19 crisis has had a negative impact on the CAA’s finances. In response, the DfT provided funding to ensure the CAA had adequate resources to carry out its regulatory activities for the rest of the financial year.
Challenges of funding

There is a challenge around how the CAA, given its current funding model, can ensure that it is able to meet expectations around how it delivers its services, modernizes its processes, and meets service delivery standards. Funding is heavily reliant on justifying to a hard-pressed industry that the CAA’s costs relate to regulatory oversight, while the CAA’s users and stakeholders expect the CAA to meet modern standards of service delivery – which can often require significant upfront and long-term investment (for example in digital systems) and can be hard to justify. This can lead to a situation where the CAA finds itself behind the curve.

The longer-term challenges center around the CAA’s Scheme of Charges. Not only is it considered very complex, with over 1,317 separate types of charges, but the COVID-19 crisis has exposed how reliant the CAA is on income that is variable and linked to aviation demand.

Next steps
Although the DfT and the CAA do not feel now is the right time to change how the CAA is funded, the CAA is preparing a medium-term financial strategy, which will include reviewing and agreeing on the guiding design principles for changes to the CAA charging model and consider a realistic timetable for developing detailed proposals and an engagement plan with the aviation sector.


Ukraine | CAA Funding

Since the Ukraine became an independent State in 1991, a number of actions have been taken by the Ukrainian Government aimed at creating a strong and sustainable organization which would be responsible for the safety of civil aviation in Ukraine. This goal has always been in line with the ambitions of Ukraine to be represented adequately in the international aviation family.

Mr. Oleksandr Bilchuk | Chairman of State Aviation Administration of Ukraine

The Order of the President of Ukraine #217/92 dated 30.12.1992 “Actions necessary for the civil aviation international activities”, followed by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine #819 dated 28.09.1993 “On creation of the State Specialized Fund for Financing National Expenditure on Aviation Activities and the Participation of Ukraine in International Aviation Organizations” have created the necessary background for further sustainable development of the Ukrainian CAA. Later on, when the Air Code of Ukraine was adopted in 2011, the name of the abovementioned Fund was included in it, prescribing that the main source of financing of the Ukrainian CAA comes from this Fund.

Other important changes were implemented with relation to this Fund in 2020. The Law of Ukraine which introduced changes to the Air Code of Ukraine was passed on 13.07.2020 under #759-IX. Mentioned changes have stipulated the provisions regarding the passengers and cargo fees in the Air Code of Ukraine (previously they were defined by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine). Such changes have brought the status of the Fund and its specific provisions to a higher legal level.

The purpose of the Fund is to maintain stable functioning of the Ukrainian CAA, such as:

  • Safety oversight;
  • Security oversight;
  • Economic oversight;
  • Regulatory and policy-making functions;
  • Airspace utilization management;
  • Certification, licensing, and further assistance to the civil aviation entities;
  • Representation in Ukraine in the civil aviation organizations.

The main sources of the Fund are:

  • Certification and Registration of the civil aviation entities (including ANSP) and their continuous support;
  • Licensing and other services provided by the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine (SAAU);
  • State fees for international passenger air services operations which start from Ukraine (2 USD for each departing passenger);
  • State fees for domestic passenger air services operations (0.5 USD for each departing passenger);
  • State fees for domestic cargo air services operation (2.5 USD for each tonne);
  • State fees for international cargo air services operation (10 USD for each tonne).

Though all the income to the Fund is considered part of the State budget, only 20% of it can be used for general State purposes and 80% is reserved for the needs of the Ukrainian CAA. As we look at the share of the income to the Fund, we can see that a little more than 80% of the income to the Fund comes from international passenger fees, 16% comes from certification, registration and continuous support services along with other related charges and the remaining 4% comes from the so-called cargo fees. It is worth mentioning that passenger and cargo fees are collected based on reports from the airports where all necessary figures can be seen. Later on, respective invoices are sent to the air carriers as they are responsible for the collection of these fees from passengers and cargo.

Air carriers’ responsibilities
The recent updates to the Ukrainian legislation have introduced the responsibility of air carriers that collect those fees. In the case that an air carrier fails to transfer collected fees to the Fund on time, the Ukrainian CAA has the legal right (and is obliged) to refuse the mentioned air carrier in terms of provision of necessary operational services until the debt is paid in full (certification procedures, requests for traffic rights etc.). This provision will stimulate air carriers not to postpone their payments, especially considering that these funds are only being collected from the air carriers for the State budget and are not for operational usage. The sustainable functioning of the Ukrainian CAA and its ability to maintain an adequate and acceptable level of safety is crucial for everyone in civil aviation and therefore we believe that a relationship of trust and respect between the CAA and air carriers is essential.

In summary, it is important to mention one thing. The existence of such a Fund gives a certain level of independence from the traditional Government financing and the ability to rely more on the market and traffic growth rather than on the financial capacity of the Government. Therefore, in this case, traffic growth and related increase of the oversight activities can be proportionally addressed. However, the COVID-19 crisis has shown that a drastic downturn in the traffic will hit this financing approach very hard and therefore further diversification of the income sources has to be considered by Ukraine and other States.


 

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Closer regional, international coordination needed for safe, secure, efficient vaccine distribution globally https://unitingaviation.com/news/safety/closer-regional-international-coordination-needed-safe-secure-efficient-vaccine-distribution-globally/ Mon, 01 Mar 2021 21:56:30 +0000 https://unitingaviation.com/?p=16749

Speaking to European and North Atlantic Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) recently, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu emphasized that while COVID-19 vaccines are now offering hope of a more imminent pandemic recovery globally, closer collaboration and procedural alignment among air transport stakeholders will be needed to get the billions of doses to their […]

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Speaking to European and North Atlantic Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) recently, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu emphasized that while COVID-19 vaccines are now offering hope of a more imminent pandemic recovery globally, closer collaboration and procedural alignment among air transport stakeholders will be needed to get the billions of doses to their destinations safely, securely and rapidly.

“We must continue to reinforce to decision-makers that air cargo supply chains are critical to these efforts,” Dr. Liu remarked. “ICAO has published safety and security guidelines for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and we’ve also enacted our Vaccine Action Plan to more efficiently align vaccine efforts with applicable CART guidance and other ICAO provisions related to air cargo.”

Vaccine distribution is consistent with the traditional expectation societies have placed on air freight for the global distribution of many pharmaceuticals, through well-established global procedures. Some COVID vaccines, however, pose exceptional temperature requirements far beyond what aircraft and supply chains were formerly expected to maintain.

“Our latest vaccine planning takes on board economic considerations, as well as the relevant provisions of Annexes 6, 9, 17, 18 and 19 to the Chicago Convention which is relevant to the efficient and safe transport of vaccine cargo by air,” Dr. Liu stated. “More will be required, however, including the adaptation of current infrastructure, procedures, and resources. These responses in turn will need to be tailored on the basis of whether a country is a vaccine supplier or recipient, or both in some cases.”

Dr. Liu also stressed to her audience how Europe’s numerous international borders and varying pandemic requirements make the current cooperation being undertaken by DGCA’s through ICAO’s EURNAT Office more critical than ever.

“European carriers have been among the worst affected by COVID‑19, suffering more financial failures than anywhere else in the world, Dr. Liu commented, “and I would recall in this context ICAO’s new guidance on economic and financial measures, designed to help States alleviate the challenges carriers and other stakeholders are facing and maintain essential connectivity.”


 

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The second meeting of the ENAVSECG Coordination Hub Organon https://unitingaviation.com/regions/eurnat/the-second-meeting-of-the-enavsecg-coordination-hub-organon/ Mon, 04 Jan 2021 21:46:58 +0000 http://unitingaviation.com/?p=16354

The second meeting of the ENAVSECG Coordination Hub Organon (ECHO/02), a subgroup of the European and North Atlantic Aviation Security Group (ENAVSECG) which mandated ECHO to steer efforts in aligning capacity building activities in the EUR/NAT regions by mapping available resources and linking them with States’ prevailing needs, was conducted from 9 to 10 December […]

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The second meeting of the ENAVSECG Coordination Hub Organon (ECHO/02), a subgroup of the European and North Atlantic Aviation Security Group (ENAVSECG) which mandated ECHO to steer efforts in aligning capacity building activities in the EUR/NAT regions by mapping available resources and linking them with States’ prevailing needs, was conducted from 9 to 10 December 2020 virtually in two languages, English and Russian, with simultaneous interpretation. The meeting was jointly chaired by Portugal, Kazakhstan and IATA.

15 members representing 10 States and 5 international/regional organizations attended the meeting.

This second meeting followed up on the work undertaken by the group since the first constituent meeting which was conducted from 22 to 23 October 2019 at the ICAO EUR/NAT office.

To achieve a better well targeted and not duplicating capacity building to support EUR/NAT States ECHO’s work is based on three pillars, mapping available capacity building, defining prevailing needs and linking both via a mechanism to be developed.

ICAO Headquarters, upon request voiced during the Second High Level Conference on Aviation Security in 2018, developed a global tool to map available capacity building activities and following ECHO/01 States, Regional Organizations and Industry started to feed into this tool.

A similar tool for mapping prevailing needs and reaching compliance with Annex 17 was not available, but following discussions during ECHO/01 and an agreement regarding what shall be reflected an initial tool was developed by the ECHO chairlady, and completed by members of the group to be further discussed in this second meeting. In the course of an intensive brainstorming how to develop and continue the work of ECHO there was consensus that the crisis imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic has created new issues that have to be taken into account when talking about relevant capacity building and while overall prevailing needs are still valid, new recovery needs emerged that should also be addressed.

The meeting concluded on further work and actions needed to include the continuous population of the global capacity-building mapping tool, identification of further prevailing and recovery needs and the last most difficult step regarding the establishment of a mechanism to link identified needs with available capacity building activities.

While work continues between meetings, the next, third meeting of ECHO will take place from 15 to 16 September 2021 with the outcome reported to the ninth meeting of the European and North Atlantic Aviation Security Group (ENAVSECG).


 

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