|In the summer of 2011, ACI World moved from Geneva, Switzerland to Montreal, Canada in order to be closer physically and politically to ICAO. Due to ACI’s mission to advance the case for airports globally, a close proximity to ICAO provides ACI staff with the opportunity to be engaged in promoting its objectives. This is done by working with the ICAO Council Members and Secretariat, Air Navigation Commission and ICAO Regional Directors. Since the move, the relationship has gone from strength to strength, with ACI playing important organizational and participatory roles at the High-level Conference on Aviation Security, and Air Navigation Conference in 2012, as well as the Air Transport Conference in 2013.|
38th ICAO Assembly
For ACI, the 38th ICAO Assembly has been a great success. We have built on the outcomes from the ICAO Conferences over the past two years, and taking direction from the World Annual General Assembly Resolutions, have presented papers on safety, security, environmental protection and on putting passengers first. These have been well received by States and other Observer organizations. In the case of security we were able to make a change to the ICAO Resolution to explicitly encourage States to work in partnership with industry to develop, conduct operational trials of, and implement effective security measures. Away from the formal meetings ACI staff were able to meet counterparts from around the world to discuss aviation matters in the broadest sense, and to focus on airport interests specifically. In events such as this ACI is truly the voice of the world’s airports.
The ICAO Assembly takes place in Montreal every three years. It is where aviation authorities from around the world get together to take stock of the activities of ICAO for the past three years; and, to look forward to the next three: to agree on global international civil aviation policy; set the budget; and, to elect its 36-State governing body, the ICAO Council. By numbers: the 38th Assembly attracted 185 Member State Delegations with a total of 1,587 delegates, and 54 Observer organizations with 258 delegates – a grand total of 1,845 delegates. It considered 365 Working Papers on 60 Agenda items. There also were more than 30 social functions hosted, mostly by those States seeking election to the Council.
Preparations for the Assembly start well in advance: the Chicago Convention of 1944 specifies that there must be one at least every three years, but the Council will not agree the exact date until about a year before the event. However, it is usually the last week of September and the first of October. This year it was held from 24 September to 4 October. Base Working Papers for the Assembly are prepared by the ICAO Secretariat and presented by the Council – these provide information to States along with proposals for draft policies, in the form of Resolutions, to be adopted. These are posted on ICAO’s website several months before of the Assembly to give States and Organizations, including ACI, time to consider them and prepare their own papers.
ACI has kept very close to policy developments in ICAO and has participated in three significant ICAO Conferences: the High Level Conference on Aviation Security 12-14 September 2012; the Air Navigation Conference 19-30 November 2012; and the Air Transport Conference 17-22 March 2013. Papers and conclusions from these were instrumental in developing a series of ACI Resolutions presented and adopted unanimously at the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Istanbul on 10 June. The Resolutions in turn provided the basis for papers to be presented to the ICAO Assembly.
The Assembly started late morning on Tuesday 24 September and was opened by the President of the Council, Roberto Kobeh, and three distinguished guests, all of whom addressed the meeting: Mr. Laurent Blanchard, Mayor of the City of Montréal; the Honourable Pauline Marois, Premier of Québec; and the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, representing the Government of Canada. In addition, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressed the Assembly by means of a pre-recorded video. All recognized the important role of ICAO and wished the delegates success with their deliberations. In the afternoon the Assembly elected Ambassador Michel Wachenheim, the former French ICAO Council Member, as its President and the formal proceedings were under way.
Specialist Commissions and an Executive Committee are established to enable work to be taken forward quickly. The Commissions review the relevant subject matter Working Papers then report back to the Plenary for adoption by the Assembly as a whole.
The Executive Committee was established to deal with the more contentious policy and political issues, and was chaired by the President of the Assembly. Issues included the possibility of holding Assemblies every two years instead of three, and whether the Council should be expanded from 36 to 39 members – in both cases the Council had recommended against change and the Assembly agreed.
It also dealt with security where ACI secured an amendment to the Resolution to encourage ICAO and States to work with industry on a wide range of security policy measures.
But, as in past Assemblies, the all-consuming issue, the subject of discussion behind closed doors and in hushed tones at receptions, concerned environmental matters, and specifically the climate change Resolution (Assembly WP/34, see http://www.icao.int/Meetings/a38/Pages/default.aspx). The Council had presented a text to the Assembly as a basis for discussion but questions relating to the scope of any interim measures, and the participation or otherwise of developing countries was left to be resolved. Behind all this lurked the spectre of a revived, if more limited, EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Rather than battle this out on the floor of the Executive Committee, or forming a small group to battle it out, the President of the Assembly chose to conduct a series of meetings with States in order to develop a revised text that might be acceptable, if not agreeable to all.
A revised text (WP/ 378) was duly brought to the Executive Committee on Wednesday 2 October – increasing the pressure for agreement before the Assembly finished on the Friday.
The Technical Commission largely mirrored the work done in the standing Air Navigation Commission on safety and air navigation, and was also driven by the outcomes from the Air Navigation Conference. The Technical Commission also endorsed the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) which was in its fourth edition. However, new for this Assembly was consideration of the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) which was presented for endorsement. Previously it had only been presented for information. The Commission Report, accepted by the Plenary, now sets the course for further technical work by ICAO for the next three years.
The Economic Commission reviewed the ongoing work on economic and regulatory matters; those dealt with by the Air Transport Conference; and the Council’s response. In particular it agreed the proposal in the Council Working Paper for a work programme to expand awareness and knowledge of ICAO’s guidance material related to governance, ownership and control, and management of airports and ANSPs, and to ensure that they remained relevant, current, and responsive to the changing situation.
Of particular relevance to airports and ACI, ICAO also plans to monitor changes in airport and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) commercialization and privatization and to collect information from States on the level of implementation of the policies on charges for airports and air navigation services. These will be published and regularly updated in the form of a Supplement to ICAO Doc 9082.
The Legal Commission reviewed progress on modernizing the Tokyo Convention. The Legal Committee had identified a number of legal issues related to unruly passengers which needed to be addressed, including a review of the jurisdictional clauses under the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Tokyo Convention, 1963). It particularly needed to align them with modern practice; the establishment of common standards and practices with regard to offences; the strengthening of international cooperation in harmonizing enforcement procedures; the powers of the aircraft commander and related immunity, and the status of In-Flight Security Officers (IFSOs). The Council had previously considered the report on the 35th Session of the Legal Committee and decided to convene a Diplomatic Conference to amend the Tokyo Convention from 26 March to 4 April 2014.
The Administrative Commission quickly reviewed and approved the draft Budget – which in practice was three one-yearly budgets within a three year funding envelope. The total was CAD 286.5 million broken down as CAD 92.752 million in 2014; CAD 94.737 million in 2015; and, CAD 99.049 million in 2016.
This budget has then been divided amongst the now five Strategic Objectives:
- Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency;
- Security and Facilitation;
- Economic Development of Air Transportation; and
- Environmental Protection.
The Administrative Commission also examined other financial matters including the audited accounts, and recommended the appointment of the auditors for the next three years: the Corte dei Conti (Italy).For more information contact:
The Plenary then concluded the Assembly on Friday 4 October with the formal adoption of all the Reports from the Committee and Commissions.
The ACI contribution to the work of the Assembly focused on specific areas where our input could make a difference: and of course we were able to support the papers from the ICAO Council on safety, security, environmental protection and economic development which already met our concerns. The outcome from these contributions was an overwhelming success. The Assembly agreed:
to refer the promotion of A-CDM by ACI, ICAO, CANSO and IATA to the ICAO Council for further consideration;
to support the Air Navigation Conference Recommendation from ACI that States, when considering performance-based navigation routes arriving at and departing from airports, should ensure that air navigation service providers and aircraft operators involve airport operators from the outset so that they may consult fully with local communities in order to avoid adverse noise impact on those communities, and the corresponding ACI General Assembly Resolution. ICAO explicitly agreed that it would take into account matters relating to airport consultation involvement in its planning;
to amend Security Resolution A37-17 to add a new Resolution text to specifically encourage member States to work in partnership with industry to develop, conduct operational trials of, and implement effective security measures.
to endorse the recommendations of Air Transport Conference and the Council’s work programme, and recommend that the Council should take into account the various proposals and views expressed at the Assembly, giving due regard to the needs of States and the resources of the Organization. This included ACI’s proposals with respect to protecting passengers in times of disruption; and, following intense debate, to develop a global market-based measures scheme in order to prepare for a carbon-neutral growth target in 2020. ACI worked closely with industry partners, coordinated by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) to achieve this delicate and successful outcome.
The conclusion of the Assembly was one of thanks and farewells, ICAO had brought together States and Organizations representing the diverse interests of the aviation community, from around the world. In the words of the preamble to the Chicago Convention: whereas it is desirable to avoid friction and to promote that cooperation between nations and peoples upon which the peace of the world depends. ACI has played its full part, as the voice of the world’s airports, in helping promote that cooperation.
Michael Rossell, Director, ICAO Relations
phone: +1 514 373 1241