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Thursday, March 23, 2023

ICAO Council Takes Action on Flight PS752 and Conflict Zones

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 36 State Governing Council has adopted new measures relevant to the loss earlier this year of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752.

It also urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to conduct the accident investigation in a timely manner, in compliance with applicable accident investigation provisions contained in Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and welcomed the ICAO Secretariat’s nomination of a team of advisers to assist with the investigation. 

Earlier this week, the Council adopted amendments to ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices on conflict zone risk assessments and related responsibilities, in addition to an amendment concerning State obligations relating to promptly sharing information on hazardous activities to civil aviation, for example through Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). 

These provisions, and supporting guidance material, were developed by ICAO over the past 5 years, with close support of Member State experts and subsequently with special support provided by the Netherlands, whose citizens were among those lost on MH17. 

The Council adopted new conflict zone risk mitigation initiatives on “Safer Skies”, presented by  Minister Garneau. The proposal was co-sponsored by Costa Rica, Finland, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom. 

As explained by Minister Garneau, “Safer Skies” calls on ICAO to perform a comprehensive gap analysis of current airspace management and conflict zone-related guidance material, and for its results to be ready for Council review by its 220th Session from 8-26 June 2020. It also requests that the ICAO Secretariat submit a draft prioritized work plan at that time, focused primarily on update and implementation activities in support of recent amendments to airspace management and conflict zone related standards and recommended practices (SARPs). 

“The ICAO Secretariat undertook extensive review of conflict-zone related guidance in the aftermath of the loss of flight MH17, and we will immediately reprioritize our work plan to take actions on these new concerns of our  Member States with respect to this latest and very tragic loss of Flight PS752, as per today’s Council decisions,” underscored ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu. 

“The Council has taken steps to assure that the ICAO Secretariat is reviewing everything applicable, and addressing all related gaps, in order to ensure that aviation stakeholders will be as prepared as possible to limit future risks to civilian and commercial operations from military force,” commented ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano. 

Read more at ICAO

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