The Role of ICAO in Relation To the International Aviation Community
According to Flightpath to a Sustainable Future, ICAO plays a critical role in implementation of global standards in the aviation industry and through also the spearheading of various reforms in the aviation industry. Some of these reforms include the “Flight To A Sustainable Future” a project that aims to introduce sustainable alternative fuels in the airline industry. This is a move to address the many years of accusations that the airline industry has been said that it has contributed significantly to global warming with figures of 3.5 per cent in 1999, even though the levels have since been reduced to three per cent as of statistics of the year 2007. ICAO came in to address the stalemate that existed between airline industry and the scientists who claimed that the option of curbing climate change was to reduce the number of flights and that people opt to use alternative forms of travel. During the launch of the “flight to a sustainable future”, ICAO secretary general, Raymond Benjamin travelled from Montreal De Jenairo for a UN conference on sustainable development as documented in Flightpath to a Sustainable Future.
Stephen, and Turner says that biofuel consists of sugarcane blend and jet fuel that was first tested in Azul Airlines Embrear Biofuel Test Flight. The biofuel promises to help cut on the emissions of carbon dioxide gas from planes into the atmosphere. The use of biofuel is seen to later cut down the operating costs in the industry in the long run.
ICAO, a specialised agency of United Nations, sought to have a specialised gathering of government representatives, air transport industry and the scientific community to address the issue of fatigue experienced by the safety-critical aviation personnel. The topic of discussion included fatigue risk management system as the alternative to “flight and duty time limitations” for pilots and cabin crew because pilot fatigue was one of the increasingly explanation that contributes to aircraft accidents and this is so as to improve the safety of not only the aviation workers but also for the travellers (“ICAO addresses Fatigue”).
The development of principles and techniques of international air navigations that meet the people’s needs of safety, efficient and reliable economical transportation worldwide is another goal that ICAO seeks to address in its mandate. ICAO also conducts regular audits on its member states on the safety and security standards in order to determine the country’s capability of developing a safety oversight system that guarantees safety in the industry. ICAO officials are then allowed when an MOU is signed and after carrying the safety audits, they can come up with recommendation on the differences between member states (Jiefang 73).
There are several challenges that ICAO is facing like the compromise concerning the climate change resolution that was held in 2011 where developing nations were required to accept the Carbon Neutral Growth goal as this would have put them at a strain compared to the already developed nations. The situation was later saved when a revised treaty was signed by the attending states. In addition to that, the issue of harmonising taxes is becoming a challenge because the introduction of new taxes and fees in already in overtaxed industry is a lot to ask for.
The introduction of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) by ICAO as a way of harmonising the Various Area Navigation and Required Navigation Performance so as to address the increasing demand for air transport services, an increase in capacity of airplanes and efficiency levels of planes is also a challenge for ICAO. The advantages that are accrued by PBN include environment friendliness through reduction of C02 emissions, reduced noise pollution and improved safety through reduction of controlled flight into terrain accidents. PBN also improves the operating returns through optimisation of profile descents and fuel efficiency.
According to Jiefang, China sees that the ICAO is acting like it’s the police in the field of flight safety that undermines a country’s sovereignty in the Chicago convention where the country is not subject to external authority of the state. ICAO role is contradictory as it seek impose its rules of control in other states even though they object to some of the rules (74).
Funding for ICAO is sometimes a problem as has therefore reduced its reach to cover all nations and to have adequate qualified personnel. This has been evidenced by the deficits in its budget allocations for conventions in the past though proper planning is being implemented to better accommodate all planned process in its calendar year.
In conclusion ICAO aims to homogenise the airline industry in different regions of the world thus ensuring efficient running of the airline industry through standards that are the same in any geographical location of a state. The contribution that ICAO is showing in fighting global warming by bringing the entire industry players to agree on reduction of emission and championing the use of sustainable biofuel is also commendable.
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“ICAO to Address Growing Issue of Fatigue Amongst Safety-Critical Aviation Personnel.” Airline Industry Information(2011): n/a,n/a. ABI/INFORM Complete. PROQUESTMS. 11 Sep. 2012.
Jiefeng, HUANG. “Aviation Safety, ICAO And Obligations Erga Omnes.”Chinese Journal Of International Law 8.1 (2009): 63-79. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Sept. 2012.
Trimble, Stephen, and Aimée Turner. “ICAO Aims to Clarify Impact of Aviation on Environment.” Flight International2007: 10-. ABI/INFORM Complete. PROQUESTMS. 11 Sep. 2012 .
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