European inputs to ICAO High-level Conference on COVID-19

12-22 October 2021 - European experts in the safety, facilitation, economic and security domains participated in the online ICAO High-level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC 2021) under the theme of "One Vision for Aviation Recovery, Resilience and Sustainability beyond the Global Pandemic". The experts have been preparing their inputs to the two conference streams through their participation in European coordination group meetings in their specific domains.

At the high level conference, a good result was achieved on a ministerial declaration from the conference, based on a range of interventions on matters of key importance, such as the role of vaccination in enabling the removal of travel restrictions, and the need for sustainable recovery in the broadest sense, encompassing economic resilience and environmental considerations, in particular climate change given coming political decisions on this subject.

In the facilitation stream, the European working paper on strengthening the resilience of aviation by improving its crisis management framework, was widely supported. Other European priorities, such as the interoperability of digital health certificates, adherence to ICAO CART recommendations, assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families, and accessibility for passengers with disability, were discussed and supported.

As some papers were of particular relevance to the European coordination group on economic matters, the co-chairs and several members of the group participated in the daily coordination meetings of the European coordination group on facilitation, as well as in the conference itself.

Europe presented three papers under the safety stream: remote oversight as a supplementary means to perform oversight; enhancing GASP to support innovation and increasing consistency with other global plans; and strengthening the resilience of aviation through the improvement of its crisis management framework, all of which were widely supported.

The European coordination groups on aviation security and aviation cyber security matters also provided advice on working papers with content relating to their own areas. These were taken on board and conveyed during the conference.