ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu reiterated the UN agency’s call for national governments to assure the sustainable funding of their civil aviation authorities (CAAs). Her appeal was made during her opening remarks to the latest virtual coordination meeting of ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Region Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs).
“State aviation authorities have been facing drastic reductions to their funding,” Dr. Liu highlighted, “and this has led to significant gaps between performance and oversight expectations and available resources. To overcome these challenges, a cooperative and collaborative approach with industry, and regional and international organizations, is key.”
The ICAO Secretary General welcomed the ICAO EUR/NAT Office’s recent workshop to start addressing the CAA funding shortfall challenges being faced in ensuring their safety, security, and economic oversight functions in the pandemic context, and appreciated that their meeting today would be endorsing urgently needed next steps.
“ICAO has been advocating tirelessly on the topics of economic impact and alleviation measures during the COVID-19 crisis, and we will undertake everything we can to help you during these dire and unprecedented circumstances.
Dr. Liu welcomed the mandate to the ICAO EUR/NAT to develop a survey, tools, financial framework assessments, model proposals, and newly identified best practices for CAA consideration and deployment.
“ICAO will continue to work hard to ensure that future sustainable financial models include, and take into consideration, the financial needs of States Civil Aviation Authorities,” she stated. “This will be the case respective of both core CAA oversight responsibilities, and the safe and harmonized post COVID-19 recovery we are now working toward together for global air transport.”
Dr. Liu concluded by calling on national governments for the financial support which is so urgently needed today to sustain the aviation sector, noting in addition that the ICAO CART Task Force was presently considering the inclusion of a risk management framework for the evaluation of COVID-19 testing solutions, as part of its Phase II Take-off Guidelines.
“Testing holds out the potential to alleviate the need for quarantines for international air travellers and tourists, or to shorten quarantine periods where those may be retained, and these new guidelines could therefore assist countries in assessing those types of decisions and solutions.”