Collaborating for a safer future: key insights from the Regional Safety Oversight Organizations Forum


Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOOs) serve as a mechanism for a group of States to cooperate, exchange best practices, share safety oversight responsibilities, and pool resources, all with the objective of establishing and upholding a robust aviation safety oversight system. EASA and ICAO organized the Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOO) Forum to bring together high-level representatives from RSOOs, States, and the aviation industry to promote enhanced regional cooperation and recognition in the ICAO framework while addressing key topics crucial for global aviation safety and resilience.

The ICAO/EASA Second Forum on Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOOs) for Global Aviation Safety was hosted by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority in Nairobi, from 10-12 October 2023. The Forum marked a significant gathering of high-level panelists from RSOOs, States, and the aviation industry. This event continued the momentum established during the first Forum in March 2017, held in Eswatini, which led to the formation of the RSOO Corporate Platform (RSOO CP) and GASOS (Global Aviation Safety Oversight System).

The three-day forum served as a platform for comprehensive discussions on the following topics that are vital for global aviation safety:

  1. Relevance of Regional Cooperation and Sustainability: Delegates deliberated on the significance of regional collaboration and the resources required to ensure the long-term sustainability of safety oversight mechanisms.
  2. Contributions of RSOOs: Attendees explored the pivotal role of RSOOs in assisting States and the aviation industry in enhancing safety oversight requirements.
  3. Success Stories and Challenges: The event provided an opportunity to share success stories and address the challenges faced by RSOOs since the inaugural Forum in 2017, highlighting the progress made over the years.
  4. Enhancing Partnerships: Delegates recognized the need for strengthening regional and global partnerships by involving new stakeholders. This collaboration is essential to tackle the evolving challenges encountered by RSOOs, States, and the aviation industry.
  5. The Way Forward: Practical steps and strategies for ensuring sustainability across all regional safety oversight mechanisms, along with accident and incident investigation, were discussed in detail.

This event reinforced the commitment to global aviation safety and underscores the critical role played by regional cooperation. By fostering collaboration among various stakeholders, this event sets a promising path toward a safer and more resilient future for the aviation industry. At the end of the Forum important conclusions were agreed upon, with the expectation that all parties involved would translate these into actions to be analysed during the next RSOO Forum:

  • States are encouraged to continue to promote and support the establishment of RSOOs, recognizing that RSOOs as key enablers of this No-Country-Left-Behind initiative.
  • RSOOs are encouraged to undergo a GASOS assessment not only to enhance their capacity but also reinforce their credibility to its Member States.
  • RSOOs are to continue supporting Member States in achieving their safety goals, taking into account the importance of sustainable funding.
  • ICAO to update its Policy on Regional Cooperation that was adopted in 2009 and is recommended to finalize and publish guidance material related to the GASOS programme.
  • Member States of the RSOOs are encouraged to actively make use of the services provided by their RSOOs and allocate appropriate resources.
  • The need for enhanced partnership involving States, industry and international organizations to promote regional co-operation was highlighted. It was positively noted the existing and projected contribution of aircraft manufacturers to RSOOs in particular on training aspects.
  • Technical assistance should be channeled, where appropriate, through regional organizations. An RSOO is the means through which States could collaborate, share best practices, safety oversight tasks and resources, with the aim to establish and maintain an effective aviation safety oversight system in each region.

The Forum emphasized the pivotal role of RSOOs in supporting global aviation safety and encouraged actions such as GASOS assessments, sustainable funding, and closer collaboration between States, industry, and international organizations to promote regional cooperation, sharing best practices, and enhancing aviation safety oversight systems. The conclusions reached during the Forum set a course for the continued development and effectiveness of RSOOs in the pursuit of safer skies worldwide.