|ICAO offices. Photo: Doug (flickr)
[Avionics Today 12-03-2014] The third meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) Task Force on Risks to Civil Aviation arising from Conflict Zones (TF-RCZ), established following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 flight MH17, arrived at a what the organization describes as a successful conclusion.
At the final meeting, ICAO proposed and adopted a work program designed to keep passengers safe from conflict zone risks wherever they fly and regardless of their airline of choice. The program will now be packaged for assessment by a wider cross-section of ICAO’s 191 member states during the United Nations agency’s High-level Safety Conference slated for February 2015.
“We had a considerable set of challenges put to us when this task force was established, and I am very pleased with the excellent results we’ve been able to determine in the very short period of time available,” stressed TF-RCZ Chairman David McMillan. “Those of us in the room very much understood that flying is still the safest way to travel, but we also recognized the public’s unease where conflict zone risk is concerned.”
The final session also saw contention regarding ICAO’s intent to accept inputs to the 2015 High Level Safety Conference on a prototype centralized information sharing system. The organization believes this type of information sharing is critical to improved conflict zone risk mitigation moving forward. The related recommendations were expected to be largely informed by the promising trials of a European version of the system, which has now undergone some preliminary trials.