Brussels, 4 May 2011
Commission signs Memorandum of Cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organisation
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas has signed today, together with the Hungarian State Secretary for Infrastructure Pál Völner, a Memorandum of Cooperation providing a framework for enhanced cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The Memorandum provides the basis for stronger EU involvement with ICAO.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "This Memorandum of Cooperation will create a win–win situation for all parties involved. ICAO will benefit from more resources and expertise; Europe will benefit from ICAO expertise and will strengthen its position in this global forum."
The Memorandum will allow Europe to contribute to the preparatory work for policy and standard setting in ICAO in the fields of safety, security, environment and air traffic management and to make better use of resources by sharing information and coordinating efforts.
The activities under this framework will initially focus on safety, and later other areas of interest will also be covered — such as security, environment and air traffic management.
Stronger European involvement in the preparatory phases in the security area will facilitate the adoption of policy decisions to fit the needs of all ICAO regions.
It will also help with the development of SESAR, the European air traffic control modernisation programme. The programme aims to develop the new generation air traffic management system capable of ensuring the safety and fluidity of air transport worldwide over the next 30 years. However, global technical standards will need to be set to ensure future systems are truly interoperable. The latest ICAO General Assembly Resolution on international aviation and climate change established an extensive programme of further work. Europe's contribution to this will be enhanced thanks to the new Memorandum.
ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin also attended today's signing ceremony. ICAO President Roberto Kobeh already signed the Memorandum on 28 April.