Amendments include: tighter State measures to prevent the spread of disease by air travel; reclassification of runway incursion severity; framework for State Safety Programme maintenance, enhancement of heliport safety etc.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has officially asked its 190 Member States to state their position regarding 14 amendments to certain international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) recently adopted by the ICAO Council, in order to further improve aviation safety and efficiency globally.
In this regard, Member States have been given a 20 July, 2009 deadline to indicate their approval or disapproval of the 14 amendments to 11 specific Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) as follows:
An amendment, or any part thereof, will not enter into effect if a majority of Contracting States officially notify their disapproval by the 20 July 2009 deadline. States that do not reply by the deadline are assumed to have approved the Amendments which then become applicable, normally four months later.
NOTIFICATION OF DIFFERENCES
It must be noted that registration of disapproval (Article 90 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation) of the 14 Amendments by the 20 July 2009 deadline does not constitute a notification of differences under Article 38 of the Convention.
The latter requires Member States, which find it impracticable to comply (fully or in part) with amendments to international standards or procedures, to give notice to the ICAO Council of differences between their own practices and the new or amended international standards. For the majority of the above-mentioned amendments, Member States must file their differences by 19 October, 2009. The Council, for obvious safety reasons, will immediately inform all other Member States of notified differences.
International Standards in Annexes to the Convention have a conditional binding force, to the extent that the State or States concerned have not filed any difference.
1) Approval or disapproval by States ( 20 July, 2009) :
Member States are required to formally express approval or disapproval of proposed Amendments. Those amendments, or parts thereof, approved by a majority of States become effective.
Such deadline applies to all the proposed Amendments with NO EXCEPTIONS.
2) File-the-difference deadline (19 October, 2009) :
Member States are required to file differences to the ICAO Council with regard to the amendments or part of the amendments which have become effective (namely not formally disapproved by a majority of States by July 20). Once approved, they will become applicable on November 19, 2009.
Such deadline applies to all the proposed Amendments with a FEW EXCEPTIONS:
These deadlines apply to all the proposed Amendments listed so far with the exceptions of Amendment 28 to Annex 6 Part II and Amendment 101 to Annex 8* which both face postponed deadlines (a 18 October, 2010 file-the-difference deadline and a 18 November, 2010 applicability date).
In some cases, these 2010 deadlines also apply only to some specific paragraphs of some Amendments. Such exceptions are as follows:
- Paragraph 2.4.4 of Annex 4 (Amend. No. 55);
- Paragraph 3.2, Chapter 8: Note, 8.2, 8.4, 8.6, and Attachment F of Annex 13 (Amend. No. 12);
- Paragraphs 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.3 and 1.5.4 of Annex 14 (Amend. No. 10);
- Paragraphs 1.3.1 to 1.3.7 of Annex 6, Part III (Amend. No. 14);
- Paragraphs 3.3.1 to 3.3.4 and 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206 of Annex 6 Part I (Amend. No. 33);
- Paragraphs 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 of Annex 1 (Amend. No. 169);
- Definition and Paragraphs 2.27.1, 2.27.2, 2.27.3, 2.27.4 and Appendix 6 of Annex 11 (Amend. No. 47).
*Paragraphs 5.3 and 5.4 of Annex 8 face a 14/10/2013 file-the-difference deadline and consequently a 14/11/2013 applicability date.