THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

The Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme

 

The Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme takes its origin in Resolution A29-13 (Improvement of Safety Oversight) adopted in 1992 by the 29th Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly. This resolution noted the concern that some of ICAO's Contracting States might experience difficulties in carrying out their safety oversight obligations, reaffirmed that individual State’s obligation for safety oversight is one of the tenets of the Chicago Convention, and called on States to provide financial and technical resources to enable other States to carry out their responsibilities for safety oversight of air carrier operations.

 

The first stage of the Programme was launched in 1996 on a voluntary basis.

 

From 10 to 12 November 1997, the Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) met in Montreal, Canada for the first-ever world Conference on a Global Strategy for Safety Oversight. This conference reaffirmed the need for safety oversight, examined the improvements that could be made to the ICAO safety oversight programme, and formulated a global strategy for safety oversight based on practical and concrete steps for implementation by each State of an effective safety oversight system, in accordance with ICAO provisions.

 

The initial success of the Programme led the 32st Session of the ICAO Assembly (Resolution A32-11) held in 1998 to endorse an enhanced program and provide the necessary funding, thus establishing the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) comprising regular, mandatory, systematic and harmonized safety audits to be carried out by ICAO, including a systematic reporting and monitoring mechanism on the implementation of safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices, associated procedures, guidance material and practices. The ICAO USOAP was launched in January 1999, replacing the voluntary program.

 

The scope of the Programme was initially limited to Annex 1 (Personnel Licensing), Annex 6 (Operation of Aircraft) and Annex 8 (Airworthiness of Aircraft). At the 33th Session of the Assembly held in 2001, Resolution A33-8 endorsed the continuation and expansion of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme to provide cover of Annex 11 (Air Traffic Services), Annex 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) and Annex 14 (Aerodromes).

 

At the 35th Session of the Assembly held in 2005, Resolution A35-6 requested that the USOAP be further expanded to include the safety-related provisions contained in all Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, thus transiting from an Annex-by-Annex approach to a comprehensive systems approach for audits.  The comprehensive systems approach for the conduct of the audits, under a six-year cycle is scheduled to end in 2010.

 

The Directors General of Civil Aviation met in Montreal, Canada for the Conference on a Global Strategy for Aviation Safety (DGCA/06) from 20 to 22 May 2006. During this conference, Directors General of the 189 Member States of ICAO assessed the current status of aviation safety, identified ways to achieve significant improvements and developed a safety framework for the 21st century – a Global Strategy for Aviation Safety – in an assertive, coordinated and transparent manner. They had also agreed to post results from the Organization's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) on the ICAO public website. 566 participants from 153 Contracting States and 26 international organizations attended this DGCA conference.

 

The ICAO Assembly Resolution A36-4 (September 2007) established a new approach to be applied in the USOAP beyond 2010 which is based on the concept of a continuous monitoring approach. Beyond 2010, the objective of USOAP is to promote global aviation safety, by enhancing Contracting States’ safety oversight capabilities, through continuous monitoring of States’ safety performances in order to identify safety deficiencies, assess associated safety risks, implement strategies for their mitigation and re-evaluate States’ safety oversight capabilities achieved.

 

Commemorative cover issued for the Conference on a Global Strategy for Safety Oversight

held in Montreal, Canada from 10 to 12 November 1997

 

Commemorative cover issued for the Conference on a Global Strategy for Aviation Safety (DGCA/06)

held in Montreal, Canada from 20 to 22 May 2006

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