Port Moresby Declaration on Regional Aviation Safety and Security endorsed
Ministers responsible for civil aviation and senior aviation officials from 14 Pacific Islands States convened virtually this week to endorse the Port Moresby Declaration formalising their shared commitments to progressing important Pacific regional aviation matters through a new enhanced collaboration framework.
The Port Moresby Declaration provides a range of strategic priorities and actions to respond to the critical challenges regarding aviation safety and security performance facing Forum Members, who have been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
RAMM Chair and Papua New Guinea Minister for Civil Aviation, the Honourable Sekie Agisa said: “The Port Moresby Declaration is a considerable achievement which formally builds on previous commitments and gives renewed focus to implementing a holistic and collaborative regional approach to achieving sustainable aviation safety and security.”
“Although faced with many challenges, the message is clear, through collaboration and commitments, our region can achieve strengthened aviation safety and security compliance,” he said.
The Declaration demonstrates Pacific governments commitments to creating a way forward for strengthened aviation safety and security. Safe and secure aviation is recognised as an essential requirement to enabling connectivity and sustainable development in the Pacific.
Secretary General of the PIFS, Mr. Henry Puna said: “We need to shift our thinking and our approach from ‘business as usual’ and start to explore new and innovative approaches to create a more safe, secure and sustainable aviation sector for our region; and one which promotes the spirit of the Blue Pacific while respecting national jurisdictions and development aspirations.”
“The prioritization of aviation in Pacific States is critical to assure the local levels of ICAO compliance which will ultimately restore this region’s significant aviation’s benefits,” commented ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, “and it’s my hope that the Port Moresby Declaration will suitably emphasize the importance of air transport to national and regional recoveries to Pacific States.”
Another significant milestone was achieved with the endorsement of the Framework for Aviation in the Pacific which will enhance regional collaboration through the development of a 10-year Pacific Regional Aviation Strategy.
The Strategy will create a pathway to the long term safe and sustainable development of the aviation system to deliver the vision for a harmonised, collaborative and connected Pacific aviation system that supports safe, secure, and sustainable aviation in all Pacific States.
The Pacific Regional Aviation Strategy will focus on COVID-19 recovery and long-term sustainable development of the Pacific aviation system including strengthening Member States’ regulatory oversight capability, capacity, and effectiveness.
It was also agreed that the PICASST will be amended to better address the current needs of the region to enable a wider scope of collaborative activities, and leverage opportunities including a stronger Pacific voice in the international aviation system.
Ministers also agreed to strengthening the multi-functional regional aviation organisation to address aviation issues and opportunities as a key regional priority.
In that regard, Ministers recognised the improved performance of the regional aviation organisation, the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO). They agreed to strengthen PASO with appropriate and sustainable resourcing to ensure it continues to deliver enhanced aviation safety and security services to all Member States as an important part of the response to the ICAO Pacific Small Island Developing States Study.
Ministers agreed to the Cooks Islands hosting the next RAMM in 2022, before the next ICAO Assembly, to monitor progress and consider the amended PICASST, Regional Pacific Aviation Strategy, and sustainable funding arrangements to support enhanced regional collaboration and a strengthened multi-functional regional aviation organisation.