ICAO defines International Safety Problems, the US Government should Initiate a Global Solution Program

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ARTICLE: ICAO Flight Safety Information Exchange (FSIX)–Level of Implementation

022813The International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations body, was established to set universal standards for the Civil Aviation Administrations that regulate the airlines and other forms of flight. ICAO is governed by all of its Members and has established as one of its programs the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP), a review of those CAA’s technical competence and performance.

The referenced link relates to the results of the current audit of its Member States. The above chart shows the collective marks which the ICAO audit comprise the macro status of the world’s civil aviation authority. On the associated website, the most recent individual reviews of each of the185 countries are listed.

The macro results hide some of much lower scores given to some of the discrete CAAs. Some of USOAP scores for individual countries are well below what should not be acceptable. It would not be surprising to find that the ICAO auditors are given to grade inflation, given that the countries which they are grading collectively employ these employees. An unadjusted score might be even worse.

The countries, which have not achieved satisfactory results, are also not likely to have the internal resources to rectify the situation. None of the CAAs have intentionally sought sub-par grades. Because aviation is inherently global, their less-than-acceptable safety regime can and does impact international aviation. They need training, knowledge and external resources to attain the regulatory proficiency needed to meet and attain the ICAO standards.

It is in the best interest of the Unites States government to export the most rigorous aviation standards and administration thereof. The FAA has an organization which is dedicated to helping foreign governments achieve such goals and its mission includes “leadership of the agency’s international programs for harmonization of global standards, technical assistance, training and infrastructure planning.” The problems identified by USOAP seem to fit within this description.

Funds are needed and the appropriate resource may be the State Department’s Global Partnership Initiative which promotes “a new generation of public-private partnerships to strengthen foreign policy, maximize foreign aid impact, and enhance collaboration to solve problems.” This office, which reports directly to the Secretary, has chosen to improve international sectors like market-driven economies, cook stoves science/technology/education and diaspora.

The Initiative contemplates that academic, corporate, non-governmental and foundation organizations would be involved. It would be wise to involve Flight Safety Foundation would be a natural. A cadre of people who know the dynamics of safety regulation from having worked for the FAA would also be an asset. In any event, the US government in a public-private partnership would be well advised to make international aviation safety advancement part of its global priorities.

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