ICAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have identified technical and financial autonomy as key objectives for Latin American and Caribbean governments looking to enhance the effectiveness of aviation sector regulatory governance. Other areas for attention identified through a new study include the selection processes for and conduct of regulatory agency leaders, and the importance of sectoral performance reporting in order to better assess and tailor regulatory options.
“Strong governance supports the legitimacy and integrity of civil aviation regulatory authorities, and enables them to make technical, evidence-based decisions without conflict of interest, bias, or improper influence,” remarked ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. “I welcome the completion of the first phase of this study, and wish to thank the OECD for its critical support as we work together to strengthen the governance arrangements of civil aviation authorities.”
ICAO already provides guidance for State regulators, highlighting the importance of their independence in safety, security, and economic perspectives. However, fewer than half of the Latin American and Caribbean aviation authorities that participated in the new study reported being legally independent, and most do not manage their financial allocations.
The new findings are the result of a mapping exercise undertaken by the OECD, in collaboration with ICAO’s South American (SAM) and North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Regional Offices. The dataset includes 29 civil aviation authorities within 26 countries or territories and 1 regional authority (the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority).
The mapping study was conducted using the OECD’s Indicators on the Governance of Sector Regulators, developed by its Network of Economic Regulators. The governance indicators capture high-level information on the independence and accountability of regulatory authorities, as well as their scope of activity. Since 2013, the OECD Network of Economic Regulators (NER) has been exploring the good governance of regulators by collecting and disseminating comparative data and good practices, providing rigorous analysis and offering a platform for policy dialogue.
With the COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrating that effective government and regulatory action is fundamental to positive public health outcomes in times of crisis, and to accelerated economic recovery post-crisis, the new study’s findings should help motivate governments to take quick action on strengthening their national and regional regulatory environments.
Phase II of the study initiative is accordingly focusing on providing guidance to governments on the next steps they should take to achieve those outcomes, with expected completion in 2023. ICAO Regional Offices will continue advising and assisting the Latin American and Caribbean States civil aviation authorities in implementing enhanced regulatory governance in aviation.