Directors General adopt documents, review activities and appoint new Coordinating Committee members

5 May 2021 - ECAC’s Directors General met virtually for their 156th meeting, joined by observers from the European Commission, EASA, EUROCONTROL, ICAO and JAA TO.

The impact of the pandemic on the European air transport sector - including on civil aviation authorities - and the challenges associated with the recovery of the sector, featured high on the agenda.

Directors General heard an update from Slovenia on its priorities for the forthcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, which it will hold in the second half of 2021. The briefing was complemented by information from the European Commission stating that most of the work during the Portuguese Presidency had been devoted to the Single European Sky SES2+ proposal, and that under the Slovenian Presidency good progress was hoped for on the environmental component of the Fit for 55 legislative package to be adopted in July 2021. This would include changes in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive, a new proposal for renewable energies use in transport, and the ReFuel EU Aviation initiative, aiming to boost the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels.

Other key topics discussed were related to preparations for the ECAC Triennial Session (12 July 2021), including the draft 2022-2024 ECAC work programme and related budget.

Two strategic documents were adopted by Directors General: the amendments to ECAC’s Strategy for the Future – A Policy Statement (December 2015), and the new ECAC Communication Strategy. The Terms of Reference of the new European Coordination Group on Aviation Cyber Security Matters were also adopted. On environmental matters, Directors General adopted a new ECAC environment capacity-building programme, and reviewed progress made on the definition of a Long-Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG).

The representative of the Netherlands (ABIS Group) on the ICAO Council briefed the meeting on the 222nd Session of the ICAO Council, held virtually from 22 February to 19 March 2021, and which addressed the following main topics: appointment of the Secretary General, ICAO Ethics Framework, work by the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), preparations for the ICAO High-Level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC 2021), RPAS amendments, cyber security, gender equality, as well as enhancing the efficiency of the working methods of the Council and its subsidiary bodies.

Directors General also had the opportunity to hear an update on safety and ATM matters from EASA and EUROCONTROL.