ICAO has called on the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) to consider creating a safety evaluation audit program similar to the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program and a similar initiative by the Airports Council International (ACI).
President of the ICAO Council Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez told the inaugural World ATM Congress in Madrid ICAO that this would bring the information sharing arrangements of the four main partners in aviation safety - regulators, airspace users, air navigation service providers and airports - under one safety umbrella.
"We could all share important information coming from our evaluations and we could then focus our resources and work programs where they are most needed a where they would yield maximum results," he said. He acknowledged that this would be "a long term undertaking," but argued that it would represent "a giant step forward to improve safety to match traffic growth."
CANSO DG Jeff Poole said: "It is an idea that has been round for a while, but we need to consider if it is something that we should pursue strategically because it adds value in terms of safety. We will look at it to see if it makes sense." He stressed there was some concern from ANSPs that are already highly regulated that it would simply add yet another layer of safety evaluation and monitoring, but acknowledged the information sharing value of such a scheme.
"If we do move forward with it, perhaps we should consider a soft start along the lines of the IATA program," Poole said. IOSA was initially introduced on a voluntary basis, but later became a requirement for membership.
Poole acknowledged that IOSA helped to build the credibility of IATA as organization and said that it could perhaps help to create a similar level of critical mass for CANSO. However, he pointed out that there were many existing opportunities for data sharing and pointed out that the memorandum of cooperation (MOC) signed in Madrid between CANSO and ICAO stressed the need for improved data sharing.
The MOC supports the establishment of an aviation safety intelligence model, which CANSO describes as "a shared safety data bank that brings together all aviation industry stakeholders in the collection, analysis, and sharing of safety information."