ECAC experts at the 13th ICAO Facilitation Panel

Written by Communications. Posted in News Updates

Montreal, 26 February – 1 March 2024 — ICAO closed its 13th Facilitation Panel session on Friday 1 March following five days of intensive discussions covering topics from assistance to people with disabilities, air cargo procedures, crew treatment and visas, to the implementation of Annex 9 SARPs. There was strong regional participation from ECAC Member States with 19 panel members and observers in attendance.

ECAC experts met three times in January and February 2024 prior to the panel under the European Coordination Group on Facilitation. The purpose of these meetings was to provide support for individual State-nominated experts by sharing views on submitted papers and updating each other on related issues and developments under ICAO’s facilitation work programme.

The Panel provided an important opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing work for facilitation in 2024, including under the banner of ICAO’s Year of Facilitation 2024.

Decisions were taken on the establishment of a new ICAO group, the Facilitation Capacity-Building Working Group. It was also agreed that the Working Group on Accessibility in International Civil Aviation would consider the topics of assistance dogs and quality assessment programmes within its work programme.

It was, however, also clear from the Panel that there were a large number of ongoing areas of work – including those agreed at the 41st Assembly in 2022 – and challenges that would require further cooperation between States and ICAO to address collectively. The Panel called for more frequent sessions in order to support this, and it was stated that an ICAO high-level facilitation meeting is provisionally expected to be scheduled for the first quarter of 2025. 

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