The first meeting of the European Aviation System Planning Group (EASPG), which merged the former European Air Navigation Planning Group (EANPG) and the European Regional Aviation Safety Group (RASG-EUR), took place from 2 to 5 December 2019 at the ICAO EUR/NAT Office in Paris, France. This is a new beginning in the ICAO EUR working structure. The intent is to improve coordination between air navigation and aviation safety-related activities, enabling an aviation system-level approach to managing safety and leading to enhanced efficiencies and synergies.
The Meeting was attended by 129 participants from 40 States and 10 international organizations. Mr Alexander Batalov, member of Air Navigation Commission, also attended and addressed the meeting, which was co-chaired by Mr Pekka Henttu (Chairman of the RASG-EUR, Finland) and Mr Alessandro Ghilari (Chairman of the EANPG, Italy). Ms Silvia Gehrer, ICAO Regional Director, Europe and North Atlantic, is the Secretary of the EASPG and NATSPG.
In line with its Terms of References, the Meeting proceeded with the elections of the EASPG Chair-team. Mr Luis Miguel Ribeiro – Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, Portugal, was elected as EASPG Chair. The Meeting highlighted the importance of ensuring representation of the whole EUR Region in the EASPG chair-team. Therefore, the Meeting elected Messrs Levan Karanadze (Director, Georgian Civil Aviation Agency, Georgia), Alessandro Ghilari (Head of International Policy and Regulations at ENAV, Italy) and Alexandr Yurchik (Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transport, Russian Federation) as Vice-Chairmen of the EASPG. To that end, it was agreed that the EASPG ToR would be amended to include three vice-chair positions.
ICAO’s seven Regional Offices help to provide support and coordination for Member States to improve:
- Air Navigation Functions, including, assisting, expediting and following up of action by States to implement regional plans and regional supplementary procedures, and implement ICAO Standards, Recommended Practices and procedures
- Air Transport Functions, including States and international organizations of ICAO air transport policies and activities, and encouraging States to file statistics, to implement Annex 9 on facilitation, to submit replies to economic study questionnaires and to submit data for revision of the Manual of Airport and Air Navigation Facility Tariffs (Doc 7100).
- Regional Bodies, where established, close co-operation with the regional bodies: African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC), and co-ordination of interrelated work programmes to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure harmony in the development of the international air transport system as a whole.
- Technical Co-operation Functions, including the Regional Scholarship Programme and assistance in investigating fellowship applications; provision of advice on programming, including co-ordination within the region of requests for regional projects; briefing of newly-recruited Technical Co-operation experts.
- Legal functions, obtaining current copies of air laws and regulations, as well as information on contemplated air legislation and regulations, from Contracting States; obtaining, on request, judicial information relating to aviation matters.
- Aviation Security, encouraging, assisting, expediting, monitoring and following up all aspects of aviation security in accordance with ICAO policy, Standards, Recommended Practices and procedures.
- General efforts that include, reporting on implementation by States of Assembly and Council Resolutions regarding aviation security; reporting on aviation accidents and incidents to enable follow-up action by ICAO as may be required; the distribution of ICAO publications and documents in accordance with Headquarters policy; the holding of meetings at regional office locations, or other appropriate locations within the areas of general responsibility, the participation in press, television and radio interviews and the provision of lectures on ICAO activities; the follow-up with Contracting States, as required, on the collection of contributions and the attendance at meetings of other international organizations.