Supporting air crash victims and their families in Europe and beyond

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Safety is a top priority for ICAO and remarkable progress has been achieved over decades of development of international air transport. Despite advances, aircraft accidents remain a harsh reminder of our responsibility to the travelling public to do more. ICAO, in cooperation with the Air Crash Victims’ Families’ Federation International (ACVFFI), has established 20 February as the International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and Their Families.

Our European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) office  organized a regional workshop with the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) to address the provision of assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families. The event took place in Milan, Italy, on 20 February 2023, the International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and their Families. More than 80 participants from 29 different EUR/NAT States and five international/regional organizations took part in the workshop.

A questionnaire aimed at assessing the capabilities of States to oversee their air operators’ and aerodrome operators’ family assistance plans was developed and sent to all participating States ahead of the workshop. This allowed for an extensive sharing of examples amongst States and also provided an opportunity to better identify State challenges. Workshops like these create a positive momentum for achieving progress in the effective implementation of the family assistance policies and other provisions established by ICAO. They also result in concrete action points that support progress in the region and pave the way for follow up activities.

 

Apart from the work already undertaken through ICAO to address the needs of aircraft accident victims and their families through policies and recommended practices, ICAO developed a training course to help countries set out appropriate family assistance legislation and plans. ICAO will also adopt new standards to place a more formal compliance obligation on States to develop effective victim support frameworks.