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World Assembly Talk

IAOPA World Assembly, June 21, 2006, Toronto Canada

Welcome to Canada and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.

1. Why is IAOPA at ICAO?

2. Since IAOPA is at ICAO what is your obligation to make our presence effective?

To understand the answer to Question 1, and for you to answer Question 2, it is necessary to clarify and to understand IAOPA’s dance with ICAO.

GA must take this knowledge and assure that the State does not prematurely and unnecessarily turn a RP into a Standard without justification based on a Risk Analysis. IAOPA can help you in your fight to develop evidence first. ICAO has decided to adopt the Safety Management System approach. This process relies on the creation of performance-based regulations and only as a consequence to a Risk Analysis. ICAO is now less interested in technical standards, leaving those to be developed by the States.

It is important that you encourage your State to adopt a similar approach. If you do, then take an active part in helping it determine the factors which create the perceived risk. Demand that proof for a particular SARP precedes the introduction of the SARP.

Over the past 2 years IAOPA has had a role at all levels; IAOPA has participated in Study Groups, Working Groups, Panels and regularly at the ANC. Examples of the issues for which IAOPA made presentations are:

  1. Medical Panel regarding more flexible GA medical requirements;
  2. ELT Working Group demanding no fixed automatic ELTs;
  3. UAV Study Group to demand no restricted airspace and no additional equipage. Many States favor an equipage solution which does not work for many GA aircraft;
  4. AVSEC Panel demanding GA not be treated identically to commercial aviation;
  5. ATM Panel demanding access into a pre-planned ATM system;
  6. Personnel Licensing Panel assuring evidence-based standards and continued acceptance of traditional training;
  7. English Language Proficiency requirements. IAOPA argued for exclusions;
  8. IAOPA was then present during the ANC deliberations for all of these to assure that GA’s concerns continued to be heard.
So what can you do to assure our continued success at the ICAO level?
  1. Give IAOPA good and immediate feedback on all requests for comment.
  2. Establish personal contact with your State's regulators.
  3. Suggest and negotiate sensible compromises with your regulators
  4. Encourage your authorities to harmonize with other sectors. e.g. Environment ministries, Land Use authorities, Tourism ministries, etc.
  5. Encourage your regulators to be performance-based using risk analyses as their guide and to avoid being outcome- based in their approach to regulating GA.
  6. ICAO is supposed to be responsive to input from member States. That makes it extremely important for you to continually survey, sensitize and argue for GA requirements at your State’s level.

Understand that your State participates in SG’s, WG’s, Panels and responds to State Letters.

IAOPA makes you aware of State Letters issued for comment. That is your primary, and often last, chance for input to argue your case. Better would be to have input at the Study Group stage.


Update on ICAO ELT and Language Proficiency deliberations

History of ELT ruling

False alarm rate and ability to pinpoint better were given as the reasons for the change. Very strong industry and S&R lobby for the 406 ELT. Statistics were nearly all from the Maritime events. Little or no aviation data.

Only this September is a performance criteria meeting being held to decide how the success of the 406 ELTs will be measured.

IAOPA argument is that the failure rate of the new ELTs has not been proven to be better than the current technology

History of Language Ruling

At the outset the need for controllers to all speak English was the thrust. That evolved into all licence holders having to speak English. Resistance changed that to being able to speak the local language or English. ICAO approved the SARP without having assured that the training establishments exist worldwide to handle the training and testing.

IAOPA argues that for aircraft flying in airspace where serious communications are not required that level 4 is too demanding and unnecessary.


ICAO is going for Performance based regulation. This is important for IAOPA delegates to understand. To have input into State-specific regulation an opportunity exists if the AOPAs plug in. ICAO is now less interested in technical standards, leaving those to the States.

Important to note is that ICAO does not originate rules – it reacts to demands from States and seeks to develop an acceptable consensus.

Pecking order:
Chicago Convention; Annexes (18). Annexes contain SARPS which States must recognize; PANS – Procedures for Air navigation Services, include ATM, OPS, ; Guidance Material.

Hierarchy: Council, Commission, Panels, Secretariat, WG, SG.

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Frank Hofmann
Copyright © 2006