Strengthening Regional Aviation Safety and Security Systems aligns with MASA – ASG

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Economic Integration, Innovation and Development, Mr. Joseph Cox

Remarks By The Assistant Secretary General, Directorate Of  Economic Integration, Innovation And Development (Eiid),Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox To The 4th Ministerial Meeting Of The Eastern Caribbean/ ICAO Contracting States On The North American, Central American And Caribbean Office (NACC) Systemic Assistance Programme (SAP)  The Strengthening Of The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), Miami, Florida, 12 – 13 May 2022

Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar, Secretary General, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),

Hon. Ministers with responsibility for Air and Civil Transportation of the CARICOM,

Permanent Secretaries,

Directors General of Aviation for the ICAO NACC States,

Representatives of the ICAO Council,

Representatives of aviation institutions and organisations,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you here, albeit virtually, for this Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Eastern Caribbean/ICAO Contracting States on the North American, Central American and Caribbean Office (NACC) Systemic Assistance Programme (SAP) For the Strengthening of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).

This Meeting is a clear demonstration of the continued strong and active collaboration between CARICOM Member States, specifically in the Eastern Caribbean, and ICAO on the strengthening of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), to address the safety and security oversight capacity and systems.  This is directly in line with the priorities for assistance established under ICAO’s No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative.

Against this background, as the meeting would already be aware, based on the results of an earlier ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP), some CARICOM Member States fell below the minimum global average of effective implementation of International Standards. Included in this listing were Member States in the ECCAA. In response, there was agreement that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), through its North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Regional Office, would provide the technical and financial support, with the assistance and collaboration of CASSOS, the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System, to address the issues and improve the ratings. We continue to recognise the work of these two important partners.

The strengthening of the ECCAA will, among other things, contribute to the development of intra-regional transport and enable opportunities to shape a more sustainable and resilient regional transport sector.  It will also contribute to the establishment of an effective and sustainable State safety and sustainable oversight system.  This is of paramount importance to the Community.  It also aligns with the overall objectives of the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (CARICOM MASA), which includes the establishment of a single market for air transport services within the Community. Movement in this area will require compliance with global aviation safety and security standards, especially since it has been recognized that there are various levels of compliance. 

It should be noted that the CARICOM MASA entered into force on, 17 August 2020, and is registered with ICAO in accordance with Article 34 of the Agreement.  The Agreement is now in force among nine (9) CARICOM Member States.   

The agenda before us today is a robust one and we look forward to the update on the strengthening of the ECCAA; the Review of Key Milestones and Activities for 2022 and the ECCAA Sustainability discussion. We may also hear, in the discussions, indications of the readiness of Member States with respect to the implementation of “the conditions for a single security check for direct transit passengers on multi-stop intra-Community flights” and the mechanism for implementation, which is dependent on the strengthening of security to acceptable levels across CARICOM.

In concluding, we are reminded of the peculiar challenges facing the Member States of the Caribbean Community, most of which form an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea and consequently are critically dependent on air services for intra-Community travel and the operation of feeder services to maintain links with regional and foreign markets.

We are also reminded that Transportation also plays an important role in the integration of our industries and consequently the expansion of productive activity.  It is essential in providing access to the Community’s tourism markets both within the Region and extra-regionally.  CARICOM’s sustainable development is very dependent on international connectivity.

I wish to thank ICAO for its continued interest in the Region and wish you a very productive meeting.


12 MAY 2022

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