29 August 2005 The United Nations civil aviation agency has called on its 188 contracting States to eliminate remaining deficiencies in the global air transport system, some of which may have contributed to five major accidents in August that claimed at least 330 lives in four countries, making it one of the worst months in aviation history.
This autumn, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will consider the adoption of standards for setting up safety management systems, ICAO Council President Assad Kotaite said in a news release.
“Given the forecast for sustained growth of air transport in the coming years, it is essential that all Contracting States of ICAO cooperate in reducing the rate of accidents worldwide. Effective safety oversight systems and transparency in the greater sharing of information is how we can best achieve this objective,” he added.
He stressed that the global aviation system is fundamentally safe, with 2004 the safest in terms of fatalities since Montreal-based ICAO’s creation in 1944, and the second lowest in terms of the number of accidents, “yet the current month is one of the worst in history.
“We owe it to the citizens of the world to address this situation in a globally aggressive, coordinated and transparent manner,” he said. “ICAO and its Contracting States recognize that it takes more than rules and standards to prevent accidents. They must be implemented and enforced.
In addition, States must fulfil their responsibility to establish national safety oversight systems, with close and constant scrutiny of all components of a State’s aviation infrastructure. This include airlines, airports, air navigation systems, as well as well as aviation legislation and civil aviation administrations.
“There must also be an unobstructed flow of safety-related information by everyone involved in air transport, at every level and across every safety discipline,” Mr. Kotaite said. “At the same time, airlines and regulators must put in place safety management systems that can make use of this information in order to take action before an accident occurs.”