The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) launched its prototype conflict zone risk information repository last week, responding directly to Member State recommendations which came out of the UN agency’s High-level Safety Conference in February.
The new repository is accessible via ICAO’s public website homepage for representatives from States, airlines and the general public. As it becomes populated with submissions, it will provide up-to-date information on potential risks to civil aviation arising from armed conflict.
“This centralized repository is meant to enhance the existing global framework whereby each State is responsible for assessing risks to civil aviation in their airspace, and for making that information promptly available to other States and airlines,” stressed ICAO’s Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “But while it does not alter these essential State responsibilities, it very much does respond to the strong international consensus we have seen around the proposal that the safety of our worldwide network would benefit from greater information sharing on conflict zone risks.”
Only authorized State officials will have the right to submit risk information under the procedures agreed to by the ICAO Council. In all cases, the identity of the State submitting information to the repository will be clearly indicated, and States being referenced in a risk submission will also have the opportunity to review and approve the related information prior to public posting.
The online conflict zone repository was one of the more important proposals included in the comprehensive risk mitigation strategy proposed by ICAO’s conflict zone task force during 2014. The task force also recommended that a suitable legal framework be established to ensure that ICAO would not face liability implications arising from the information which States submit.