The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations successfully convinced the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to reexamine provisions of its revised aviation security guidelines that threatened to hamper general aviation/aerial work.
"ICAO reacted to the September 11 terrorist attacks with new standards for security that were enacted in December," said John J. Sheehan, secretary general of IAOPA, which represents GA/AW at ICAO proceedings. "But those standards focused entirely upon air carriers with no mention of general aviation and aerial work flying."
IAOPA was concerned that individual nations would write the ICAO guidelines into their regulations and put them into effect for all aviation, including general aviation. Those guidelines, which cover commercial air transport requirements for security personnel, baggage, and passenger screening devices and airport ramp access restrictions, would have either severely restricted the flow of GA/AW traffic or proven prohibitively expensive, according to Sheehan.
At the ICAO Ministerial Conference on Aviation Security (AVSEC) February 19-20 in Montreal, Sheehan and IAOPA ICAO Representative Frank Hofmann presented the case that GA/AW was different and distinct from commercial air to the gathering of 700 representatives from 154 countries.
IAOPA noted that other ICAO guidelines recognize the difference between commercial and GA/AW, including operating an aircraft, parking and servicing, and pilot certification; therefore, IAOPA said "similar distinctions are possible" regarding security.
AVSEC delegates agreed.
The conference delegates concluded that "since general aviation operations are very different from commercial air transport operations, they warrant separate measures within existing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and/or guidance material."
IAOPA will participate in the April 2002 ICAO AVSEC Panel that will define these measures.
IAOPA represents the interests of AOPA affiliates in 56 countries of the world, comprising more than 400,000 general aviation and aerial work pilots and aircraft operators. The council was formed in 1962 to provide a voice for general aviation in world aviation forums.
For more information, visit www.iaopa.org.