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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 4 October 2013

ICAO: Aviation Assembly conclusions

Brussels, 4 October 2013 – The European Commission today welcomed the conclusions of the ICAO UN Aviation Assembly which meets every three years in Montreal to set the aviation priorities for the years to come. With more than 192 Members, this year the Assembly had a particularly heavy agenda, with major challenges in the areas of safety, security, air navigation, global competition and market access and the environment (aviation emissions)

Vice President Kallas said, "Faced with a huge responsibility, this Assembly has set the agenda for world aviation for the years to come. The EU can take pride in our role in the achievements in all areas ranging from safety, to security, air traffic management and economic regulation. On aviation emissions, this is a landmark deal. It is good news for the travelling public, good news for the aviation industry and most importantly it is good news for the planet."

On safety

Europe, alongside North America, is statistically the safest region in the world. The work to raise safety standards never stops and ICAO is a major driver of progress in aviation safety, worldwide. From a European perspective, the Assembly took several key decisions on safety. Most notably, ICAO will go further to recognising and pro-actively promoting the advantages of a 'regional' approach to safety. The regional model has delivered well for Europe, this needs to be recognised by ICAO and promoted as it can also bring benefits to other regions of the world. ICAO has also endorsed an ambitious agenda for work on oversight and safety management at a global level.

On Security

No country can tackle on its own the threat that terrorism poses to international civil aviation. The ICAO Assembly took important decisions on security, including to move ahead with the finalisation of reinforced air cargo security rules at global level. The Assembly also agreed on the adoption by ICAO of a mechanism for the mutual recognition of security measures. States would recognise the equivalence of aviation security measures with the same standards of security. This would pave the way to a One Stop Security approach.

On Air Traffic Management (ATM)

From an industrial perspective, ATM is the key issue for the Assembly- and one which has major implications for European industry which is a world leader in this field. The problem is that as different regions modernise their ATM systems, they risk doing it in different ways which are not compatible. This is a billion Euro industry and the damage to European industry from this fragmentation of markets would be very considerable. The Assembly gave strong support to agree a Global Plan for the Modernisation of ATM (Global Air Navigation Plan). Importantly, Global Air Navigation Plan, which would accommodate European Standards.

On market opening/fair competition

The big growth markets for aviation are outside the EU. Europe's air carriers need access to those market to grow. They need also to be able to compete fairly in new markets, with tough rules to against unfair competition (state subsidies for example). Finally, Europe's carries need to be able to access investment from across the world, that means modernise aviation rules on ownership and control which currently stifle investment. The ICAO Assembly agreed an ambitious resolution in this area, directing the UN body to update guidance rules on fair competition, which was confirmed by the Conference as an "important general principle in the operation of international air services. The Assembly also agreed to make progress on a multilateral agreement to liberalise air carrier ownership and control.

On the environment

The UN Assembly has agreed to develop, by 2016, a global MBM for international aviation that can start in 2020. Until then countries or groups of countries should – within certain parameters – be able to deploy MBMs.

The market based measures will go hand in hand with new procedures to promote more advanced technology, including the use of better alternative aviation fuels and to promote better procedures, including in the area of air navigation.

The agreement also puts in place a fair and equitable solution that respects the special circumstances and respective capabilities in which a number of countries find themselves. Aviation accounts for 3% of global CO2 emissions but ICAO statistics show that international aviation CO2 emissions are forecast to increase between 4 and 6 times by 2050 from the levels of 2010.

What happens next?

The Commission's proposals must be approved by the European Parliament and Member State Governments by the "co-decision" procedure, before being adopted.

More information

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

- Isaac Valero Ladron (+32 229-64971)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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