During the 70th anniversary celebrations of the ICAO EUR/ NAT Office, the Regional Director of the ICAO Office, Mr. Luis Fonseca de Almeida, and the Director of State Civil Aviation Administration (SCAA), Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Arif Mammadov, signed a Technical Assistance agreement. The agreement committed both parties, (the ICAO EUR/NAT Office and Azerbaijan SCAA) to cooperate closely and coordinate all efforts and resources to enhance the ICAO SARPs implementation within the SCAA Azerbaijan, under the ICAO’s initiative ”No Country Left Behind” (NCLB) and the EUR/NAT Technical Assistance Program (TAP).
The ICAO EUR/NAT Office developed a Tailored Plan of Action (TPA) for Azerbaijan and a Technical Assistance Project (EUR NAT AZE 16001).
The TPA specifies the activities to be undertaken by Azerbaijan in cooperation with ICAO EUR/NAT is comprised of two phases: short term (2016-2017) and mid- to long-term (2018-2020). The objective is to first increase the overall effective implementation (EI) above the global average, and then, the second phase of the plan would allow Azerbaijan to achieve and exceed the EUR/NAT regional average of EI (73%).
As part of the TPA, a dedicated Technical Assistance Project the EUR NAT AZE 16001 was developed and agreed with the State.
In the short term, and with the support of the EUR NAT AZE 16001 project, Azerbaijan focused on the review of the Corrective Action Plans (CAP) based on the remedial actions of high and other priority as described in the ICAO USOAP audit report in the areas of Aerodromes and Ground Aids (AGA), aircraft accident and incident investigation (AIG), Air Navigation Services (ANS), Airworthiness of civil aircraft (AIR), Civil Aviation Organizational structure (ORG), Personnel Licencing activities (PEL), and Aircraft Operations (OPS). The project also provided assistance and coordinated all efforts in capacity building by implementing an on-the-job training programme for government inspectors.
The required resources were provided by the ICAO EUR/NAT Office and through regional partnerships, and in-kind donations (release of experts) also coordinated by ICAO.
Within the framework of the EUR/NAT AZE 16001, four dedicated missions were organized for a total of 25 days, with the participation of ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Officers and two external experts from Israel and Ukraine (in-kind donation).
In addition to the above-mentioned missions, specific on-the-job training (OJT) was provided to Azerbaijan national inspectors by Turkey and Georgia (as in-kind donors). Azerbaijan is committed to the Technical Assistance agreement with ICAO and supported the ICAO missions by providing air tickets and accommodation.
The ICAO EUR/NAT Technical Assistance Programme and specifically the AZE 16001 Technical Assistance project was key in this process. An ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) was conducted in Azerbaijan from 2 to 11 July 2018.
The objective of the ICVM was to assess and validate the status of the corrective actions or mitigating measures taken by Azerbaijan to address previously identified findings and recommendations. The ICVM reviewed and validated the status of Protocol Questions (PQs) previously identified within the USOAP cycle as “not satisfactory” based on progress made by Azerbaijan in resolving findings and recommendations and in implementing its CAPs.
The information collected and documented through the ICVM validated at ICAO Headquarters (HQ) and the status of Azerbaijan’s overall Effective Implementation (EI) was duly updated.
The results for Azerbaijan’s recent ICVM were very good and encouraging. The ICAO ICVM team noticed the progress in addressing 294 PQs in the areas of LEG, ORG, PEL, OPS, AIR and ANS. Following this review, the status of some PQs has changed: 180 PQs to “satisfactory” and four PQs to “not applicable”, resulting in an updated overall EI of 66.33 per cent, which is well above the ICAO global average EI.
Currently, Azerbaijan is fulfilling the relevant criteria and is eligible to be considered for the ICAOs “Council President Certificate” under the NCLB initiative. The Azerbaijan SCAA aims to improve its oversight system and further increase the competence and effectiveness level to obtain the Certificate.
The ICAO EUR/NAT Technical Assistance Programme and specifically the AZE 16001 Technical Assistance project was a key in this process.
Azerbaijan SCAA is grateful to ICAO EUR/NAT’s management and team of experts for their work and commitments. Our decision to work with ICAO EUR/ NAT has proved de facto (through the ICVM results) that it was the right one. We chose our targets and wish to continue working with ICAO EUR/NAT TAP further.