ICAO conference takes up aircraft tracking, conflict zone risks


The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has brought together aviation experts and strategic decision makers for a four-day conference to discuss emerging safety issues such as global tracking of aircraft and risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones.

Some 500 delegates have gathered at ICAO headquarters in Montréal, Canada, for the Second High-level Safety Conference to cover three major themes: reviewing the current situation, the future approach to manage aviation safety and facilitating increased regional cooperation.
“The participation of Directors General of Civil Aviation and strategic decision-makers will provide the international civil aviation community the opportunity to build consensus, obtain commitments and formulate recommendations deemed necessary for the effective and efficient progress of key aviation safety activities,” according to ICAO.
“In particular,” ICAO said, “the conference will also discuss emerging safety issues, including the global tracking of aircraft and risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones.”

Among side events scheduled during the conference are emerging issues such as the management of Ebola; search and rescue practices; the risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones; and the development of a future Global Distress Safety System to enhance the capability to track aircraft, locate an accident site and retrieve Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder information.

The conference follows last year’s downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine and the disappearance of another Malaysian Airlines flight on take-off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Also listed among the side events are sessions on current initiatives to assist accident victims and their families and protection of safety information.

In December, the Secretary-General addressed an Extraordinary Session of ICAO’s Permanent Council to mark the 70th anniversary of the Convention on International Aviation, better known as the Chicago Convention after the city where United States city where it was signed in 1944.

The Convention, which established ICAO, a specialised UN agency tasked with co-ordinating and regulating international air travel, sets rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and undertakes compliance audits, performs studies and analyses.
“It is through these provisions – as well as ICAO’s complementary policy, auditing and capacity-building efforts – that today’s global air transport network is able to operate close to 100,000 daily flights, safely, efficiently and securely in every region of the world,” the UN agency said.