Every three years the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) brings together over 2,000 delegates from up to 193 countries and international observer organisations to review the work of the past triennium and to set the policy agenda for the next.
It elects a new 36-member Council, the permanent governing body of ICAO, and agrees its budget for the coming three years.
The 2019 Assembly was held at its headquarters in Montréal, Canada, from September 24 to October 4. This was an important period for engagement with ICAO as ACI worked directly with the ICAO Secretariat and the national regulators attending the Assembly to promote key areas.
In consultation with the ACI World Standing Committees and in co-ordination with the Regional offices, ACI submitted several Working Papers (WP) and achieved concrete results, including among others:
Taxation: Responding to the ACI WP, the Assembly re-affirmed the fundamental difference between user charges and taxes; acknowledged the risks associated with poorly designed and/or excessive taxation; and, recognised the importance of running a cost-benefit analysis before introducing any form of taxation.
Security: ACI had highlighted innovations such as Smart Security, and the Assembly expressed broad support for fostering innovation in aviation security and called on Member States to co-ordinate with industry partners to facilitate operational trials of new technologies and innovative techniques. It also adopted an updated Declaration on Aviation Security, for which ACI was invited to be part of the small drafting group.
Cybersecurity: With ACI support, the Assembly adopted a Resolution on cybersecurity, to address the issues through a horizontal, cross-cutting and functional approach; reaffirming the importance and urgency of protecting civil aviation’s critical infrastructure systems and data against cyber threats.
Facilitation: ACI also welcomed a new Resolution which called upon Member States to: implement technological solutions aimed at enhancing security and facilitation of border controls while improving clearance procedures, such as the joint use of Automated Border Control gates and the ICAO Public Key Directory when checking e-Passports.
Unauthorised UAS Operations (Joint paper with CANSO, IATA, IFATCA and IFALPA): The industry is ready to work with ICAO in drafting the required international guidance material. The outcome would include harmonised processes for initiating detection of, and counter measures against, unauthorised UAS that may interfere with international aviation.
During the ICAO Assembly, ACI launched the Managing Rescue and Firefighting Services at Airports Handbook, to support operators in managing airport rescue and firefighting services. The handbook provides a useful summary of the actions and best practices that airports can adopt to ensure that they are able to effectively and efficiently respond to incidents and accidents at the airport.
In addition, the second edition of the Aviation Benefits Report was also launched by the Industry High-Level Group (IHLG). Comprised of ACI, ICAO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), the IHLG works to promote and safeguard the socio-economic benefits of air transport.
Populated with many real-world examples of how air transport is improving the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world today, the 2019 Aviation Benefits Report provides a helpful and consolidated view of aviation’s current socio-economic impacts, challenges, and objectives.
And most recently, ACI World has announced that Patrick Lucas has been appointed director of economics. Lucas was previously head of the Airport Business Analytics Unit within the ACI Economics Department, having joined the organisation in April 2011. He succeeds Stefano Baronci who has assumed the position of director general of ACI Asia-Pacific after more than three-and-a-half years as ACI World’s director of economics.