New ICAO SAM Plan to coordinate South American air transport cooperation and progress
Congratulating the States of the ICAO South American (SAM) Region for their recent progress in meeting the targets of the Bogotá Declaration, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, stressed to the assembled SAM Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) in Asunción, Paraguay yesterday that the new ICAO SAM Plan would serve as their shared strategic resource to integrate air transport development in the years ahead and establish continent-wide conditions to optimize aviation’s connectivity and economic benefits.
“South America’s civil aviation sector has been expanding two times as quickly as its GDP in recent years, which sets the stage to realize some tremendous further progress here,” the President underscored. “Your region now needs a more ambitious and longer-term strategy to continuously augment air transport connectivity and the benefits which derive from it, and that is where the new ICAO SAM Plan comes in.”
The new ICAO SAM Plan focuses on four key priorities for South American air transport: expanded connectivity; the continued and cooperative pursuit of aviation safety performance improvements; the autonomy and strengthening of local national civil aviation authorities; and further emissions and noise mitigation.
“Connectivity advances would include the adoption of air transport liberalization and harmonized consumer protection regulations, in order to better integrate regional air services with the expectations of 21st century passengers,” Dr. Aliu remarked. “And to improve aviation safety still further, ICAO is advocating for the more extensive and effective implementation of State Safety Programmes (SSPs) on the government side, and Safety Management System (SMS) adoption by local industry operators and suppliers.”
He also stressed that all future SAM progress should be aligned with the comprehensive targets and roadmaps established under ICAO’s recently revised Global Plans for aviation safety, efficiency and security, and that ambitions for improved SAM Region compliance and performance will only be obtained through the realization of stronger, more independent, and better resourced civil aviation authorities, and that this represents perhaps the greatest potential area for future improvement.
“Our ICAO Regional Office in Lima, and ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative, will be instrumental to your success in establishing the partnerships and resources needed towards these aims, supported by your exemplary cooperation mechanisms such as the Regional Safety Oversight Cooperation System (SRVSOP) and the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS).”
Dr. Aliu also praised South American States for their commitment to the environmental sustainability of civil aviation in the Region.
“The operational improvements introduced are already helping to limit CO2 emissions from international flight activity, and the CO2 emission reduction Action Plans that you have realized are a very concrete sign of your deeper commitments to air transport environmental performance,” he highlighted. “Certainly the inclusion of a high- level environmental objective in the SAM Plan will only strengthen this Regional resolve.”
While in Paraguay for the meeting of Regional DGCAs, President Aliu was pleased to award a Council President Certificate to the President of the State’s civil aviation authority (DINAC), Dr. Luis Manuel Aguirre Martinez. A second Certificate was also awarded to Brigadier Antonio Alarcón, the Head of Uruguay’s CAA, DINACIA. Compliance with ICAO SARPs is crucial to accessing the benefits of international civil aviation connectivity, and the ICAO certificates are designed to recognize States’ progress on being compliant with ICAO global safety standards.
He also met with Paraguay’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Diógenes Martínez, and the State’s Minister of the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning, Mr. José Molinas. Discussions with the Paraguayan Ministers concerned enhanced civil/military cooperation on airspace usage, and how the new SAM Plan would serve to establish a high-level vision to assure improved levels of local political will in support of civil aviation’s many objectives, especially its infrastructure modernization and investment priorities in the face of forecast growth.